What is RCS Message
RCS stands for rich communications services, which, integrated with the default Android messaging app makes it more multifunctional. It is a protocol between Android devices and mobile operators that takes text messaging to a completely new level. As compared to the traditional SMS (short message service) or MMS (multimedia messaging service), RCS messages allow users to create group chats, see read receipts, include rich media such as high-quality imagery, emojis, stickers, audio and video messages, and other attachments.
One of the most prominent advantages of RCS android messages over SMS or MMS is that they don’t have a character limit, meaning that they will never be concatenated and mixed like text messages used to do. Besides, MMS messages compress the multimedia files to be able to transfer it to another device. This is especially incompatible with the latest devices that create larger media files due to higher quality cameras.
An important point to consider now is that most of the smartphone users are probably using one of the more popular messaging apps as their primary messenger already. So the question “why should anyone care about RCS messaging then?” is quite logical. The answer is that in some markets like the US, Canada, and Australia, text messaging is very popular. Apple took advantage of this and created the “iMessage,” which supports all of the cool features and functions that other messaging apps do. And if you are familiar with iMessage, you’ll most likely know how practical it is for Apple users. All that they need to do is just have a cellular connection or wifi on to use the app.
The success of the iMessage made companies producing Android devices consider developing a similar chat app. Although the process had started back in 2007, it was only in 2018 that Google started to develop RCS messages, which is forecast to gain popularity by 2021.
As much as RCS messaging is an extra-convenient tool for individual users, it can heavily benefit various companies as well. It gives a much wider room to get creative and personalize the messages that businesses want their customers to see.
To put it differently, marketers can use RCS Android messages to combine the practicality of SMS in terms of open rates and customizability of emails. Think of it yourself, how cool would it be to send out attractive imagery through SMS knowing that they have around 98% open and over 40% response rate?
Besides that, RCS messages also bring a new approach to the way companies send transactional messages. Using the service, companies can take the transaction process from their website or app to the customer’s phone. For example, a customer may choose a product from an eCommerce store and receive an RCS message asking to confirm their choice, pick a certain quality of the product (i.e. color, size, price, etc.).
RCS Availability by Countries
The popularity of RCS google messages grows at a fast rate. However, there are only a couple of countries that support it completely. Some of them are the United States, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, and Japan. In some countries like Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom, RCS messaging works only with a few network operators.
RCS vs. SMS
Perhaps one of the most significant differences between RCS and SMS is that the latter has only a 160 character-limit, whereas RCS has 8000. Hence, Android messages RCS gives a much wider room for more comprehensive communication. Since RCS uses an internet connection, it also allows both ends of the communication to see when the other end types.
Of course there are also technical differences between SMS and Android messages RCS. SMS uses an HTTP server, SMS Gateway, SMS Centre, and tower to convey a message, which is why it has so many limits. On the contrary, RCS uses IP based protocols, which allow transferring large media files over the internet to the recipient’s phone.
Since RCS is not a worldwide phenomenon, for now, the actual pricing is still debatable. Besides, it is mainly using mobile data, and if the android RCS message principle is the same as iMessage, it should logically be free of charge. Still, rumor has it, the price will be around 8-10¢ per message.
Industries That Can Benefit From RCS (Use Cases)
Perhaps it would be correct to state that every industry can benefit from RCS messaging. It is multifunctional and can fit in the agenda of every marketing strategy. To be more specific, industries that tend to use transactional text message services can get it to another level and show a unique approach to their clients.
All of the parts of the traveling industry starting from ticket offices to travel agencies can benefit from RCS messaging. For example, an airline ticket office can send a one time password to confirm the purchase with an eye-catching visual. Furthermore, they can design the message to direct the customer to choosing the ticket class, date, and so on. Similarly, a travel agency can send personalized offers for the clients, who can later use the buttons inside the message to choose a destination, date, and so on.
Retailers can also use RCS to send promotional messages that look more appealing than a simple 160-character text. Moreover, they can replace the call to action words with actual buttons that will lead the customers to a buying action.