What Is RCS Messaging and How Does It Work?

What Is RCS Messaging and How Does It Work?

Even though mobile phones have changed drastically since the early 2000’s, the messaging protocols through which people communicate haven’t — yet. Since SMS was developed it’s been the go-to method of sending and receiving messages for most phones despite the fact that it’s way overdue for an update.

RCS is going to change all that by bringing features such as read receipts, group messaging features and multimedia capabilities to everyday messaging. It’s the messaging protocol for the smartphone era.

Here’s some detail on what RCS messaging is and how it will impact your marketing strategy…

What is RCS Messaging?

RCS stands for “Rich Communications Services” and experts predict it will replace SMS in the near future. Think of it as an evolution of text messaging. It’ll incorporate many of the features of popular messaging apps like iMessage or WeChat while still operating on a telecom network.

The Difference Between RCS and SMS

RCS messaging is like a next generation SMS and, just like its predecessor, it will operate using a data connection. There are a few key upgrades RCS offers over traditional SMS. Take a look:

  • You’ll be able to send read receipts and see when your friends are typing.
  • You’ll be able to send files directly through RCS. Like an enhanced version of MMS marketing, imagine getting your airline tickets or choosing concert seats directly from an RCS message.
  • It will make it easy to send multimedia elements such as GIFs or stickers.
  • Group messages will be streamlined.
  • There will no longer be a 160 character limit.

These are many of the features that smartphone users are familiar with in their messaging apps, but with RCS you’ll be able to have this user experience when messaging anyone, regardless of the phone’s operating system.

When Will RCS be Implemented?

Though formed in 2007, it has taken until now for many mobile operators worldwide to agree to use RCS, but expect the messaging protocol to pick up steam soon.

In 2016, the GSM Association, which is the trade body representing mobile operators, agreed to what they call a “Universal Profile” to aid the rollout of RCS. The way they word it, the Universal Profile is:

A single, industry-agreed set of features and technical enablers developed to simplify the product development and global operator deployment of RCS.

The GSM Association estimates that by 2021 the RCS business worldwide will open up $74 billion in new communication opportunities.Click To Tweet

Who Supports RCS Messaging?

As soon as all cellular carriers support RCS messaging you’ll be able to use it with anyone you want regardless of what type of phone or who their carrier is, much like the way you send a text now. There are more than 60 organizations who currently support the RCS rollout worldwide, and that number is growing. Here’s a snapshot of everyone who has signed on so far.


RCS Messaging Carriers


How RCS Messaging Can Help Marketers?

RCS messaging could provide a powerful tool for businesses looking to engage with their audience like never before. It has the potential to extend the bounds of creativity in your marketing campaigns and could possibly help to make your efforts to connect with your clients more streamlined and meaningful.

Here are a few of the ways it is expected that RCS messaging will improve the relationship between brands and their clients.

Easy to Verify

Nothing disintegrates trust between your business and your audience faster than coming across as spammy. With RCS messaging your clients will be able to instantly verify you’re legit through sender verification.

Send Real-Time Updates

RCS messaging will allow companies to send users status updates on orders, boarding passes, seat selections and upcoming appointments. Plus, you’ll be able to do all of this using multimedia to enhance your message. In this instance, it’s similar to MMS but a lot more flexible. You can send GIFs, videos and loyalty cards directly through an RCS message.

Maximize Flexible Content Options

Because RCS messaging doesn’t have the standard 160 character limit that SMS messaging does, you can write longer messages to your clients. Instead of skimping on words and finding abbreviations, you’ll have some leeway to inject your brand’s voice into the message. Plus, you can add special touches like audio, video, stickers or high-resolution photos. You’ll be able to send PDFs, display product carousels, add calendars for scheduling and, best of all, suggest a direct call-to-action that customers can immediately take.

Streamline Your Call-to-Action

Nowadays, if a user wants to call your company or click to your website, they have to open their web browser or leave their messaging app. With RCS messaging they’ll be able to click a button from the text message itself to call you or access certain elements of your website directly from the message. This creates less friction in the call-to-action process which is likely to have the impact of creating more conversions. Essentially, you’ll lose fewer people along the way.

RCS Message

Understand RCS Messaging Now to Stay Current

Staying updated on trends and best practices is a crucial component to ensuring you have a strong return on investment when it comes to your marketing efforts. RCS expands your opportunities as a marketer. Having an idea of the opportunities that are available through RCS messaging will put you one step ahead of the competition once RCS is fully adopted.


How Does RCS Impact SlickText?

At SlickText, we love new technology. We’re always about the next great thing that we can offer as part of our text messaging services. We are currently experimenting with RCS messaging ourselves and as we get closer full adoption by the cellular carriers, we’ll begin rolling out new features in our platform that allows you to take advantage of this hot new method of communicating to your customers. Stay tuned…



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