Important Note on RCS
Before you read this blog please note that RCS has still (as of March 2019) not been adopted by all the networks in South Africa. See the note at the bottom of this blog.
Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging is the next evolution of SMS Text Messaging. With Google announcing the expansion of its RCS and the rolling out an Early Access Program for the service, Android Messages application will replace the current native messaging app for android handsets.
Rich Communication Services is aiming to replacing SMS messaging with a text-message system that is richer and more interactive for the user. Similar to Apples iMessage system, RCS will offer group chat, high-resolution photo sharing, read receipts etc. The Rich Communication Suite (RCS) industry initiative was formed by a group of industry promoters in 2007.
How RCS will help your business?
In this digital age, customers have come to expect services and brand engagement, and in a way that the customer prefers, whether that’s SMS or RCS messaging.
RCS give brands the opportunity to interact with their customers instantly. It is going to bring enhanced features to the standard messaging experience across Android mobile devices. This improved messaging will help businesses engage with their customers and build deeper relationships by providing an interactive platform previously only available for brands to reach their customers through mobile apps.
‘RCS will upgrade today’s business experience by enabling brands to send more useful and interactive messages. For example, a message from your airline reminding you to check in for a flight can now take advantage of rich media and interactivity to provide a full check-in experience, complete with a boarding pass, visual flight updates, and terminal maps on demand, all directly within the messaging experience. Businesses can also have a branded messaging experience with information about the business and the ability to share content.’ – Google
RCS vs SMS
- Expanded character set
- Expanded message size
- Expanded ‘status reporting’, with SMS you know your message is sent, RCS tells you your message is sent, delivered, read, and if the recipient is responding (similar to iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp etc.)
RCS offers features that people expect from mobile messaging today, such as location sharing, group chats, high resolution photos. Below are two examples of what an RCS message can look like. Note the logo’s, message section ( which can include maps, video’s photo’s) and even call to action buttons at the bottom of the message.
One of the major benefits of RCS will be that it is tied to your mobile number rather than an app, meaning that there are no downloads required. For Networks, it’s a way to get customers back to the messaging market and be able to once again compete with the likes of Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger.
When will this be available?
Updated March 2019. We had originally been expecting RCS to be rolled out in Q3 2017. However at Mobile World Conference 2019 in Barcelona, Barry and John were surprised to hear that only a few carriers worldwide has adopted RCS so far. The prevailing view from MWC was that RCS wouldn’t be rolled out globally for a number of years yet. Surprising as the hype around it t has been intense. The conclusion from many at the conference was that RCS would not be available for marketers and business in the near future.
With the delays in the rollout of RCS worldwide, Sendmode have implemented a number of new features such as Image by SMS to improve the rich content of SMS Marketing. Click below for a no obligation free trial.