RCS: Google plans to reset the standard in mobile messaging (Part 1)
The end of the traditional ‘text message’, or SMS, has been forecast for years. The rich media capability, intuitive utility and zero user cost has seen instant messaging by Whatsapp, Messenger, Telegram Viber and others become ubiquitous in peer to peer communications and with messenger in particular in marketing. In 2013, TheNextWeb was one observer who predicted the wholesale replacement of the SMS by apps such as Whatsapp around the time that the number of messages sent by chat apps overtook and eclipsed those sent by SMS.
However, SMS has remained the default channel for A2P (application-to-person) messaging by large businesses: the unfussy style works well for critical communications such as important notifications and alerts.
The mobile industry have seen this change and are now coming together to foster adoption of RCS (Rich Communication Services), a new universal messaging standard which delivers richer and more interactive features to everyday mobile messaging – effectively, an upgraded version of the current SMS experience. According to the GSMA, 60 global operators, device manufacturers and OS providers, representing 4.7 billion users, already support the RCS Universal Profile. That means an almost universal marketplace is ready for its launch.
The RCS standard is setting out to be complementary to SMS, providing a safe, secure and engaging way to deliver actionable notifications and self-service customer support within a users primary phone inbox.
RCS As A Channel for Rich Engagement
By taking inspiration from industry leading messenger services such as WhatsApp, LINE and Messenger, RCS is bringing about a broad range of user experience tools from its launch:
Immediately important for the travel industry
The travel industry is firmly in mind for RCS. The need for a standard channel to compliment other messaging platforms is clear from the continued relevance of SMS communications by all verticals in the travel industry.
That standard channel is open 24/7 in a native messaging app, trusted and authenticated on every mobile phone on the planet.
Here at Caravelo we are proud to have been selected to participate in the Early Access Program. We’ll be sharing more on our pilot launches in the coming weeks.
If you’re interested in seeing how RCS could potentially benefit your business, contact us to find out more – and be part of one of the most significant launches in telecoms this decade.