RCS Business Messaging to Reach 24% of US Consumers by 2020

This picture has the words "Tatango" and "RCS business messaging" written on it, and it shows three mobile phones displaying RCS messages.

RCS Business Messaging

RCS business messaging is finally here, but how many U.S. consumers today can actually receive RCS business messages from their favorite brands?

To answer this question, we reached out to the mobile marketing research experts at Mobilesquared, and asked them: What percentage of mobile phones today can receive an RCS business message?

What is RCS business messaging? RCS stands for Rich Communication Services, and RCS messaging is essentially the wireless carrier’s version of iMessage for Android mobile phones. For more information on RCS business messaging as a product, click here.

RCS will allow people to create group chats, share high-resolution photos, and have access to features, like read receipts, location sharing, and typing indicators, which are not possible on SMS.

The best part about RCS messaging is that businesses can also use this updated form of text messaging to reach consumers. Already, brands like Walgreens, 1-800 Flowers, Express, Warby Parker and many others have started using this advanced mobile messaging service to reach consumers.

Interested in seeing how brands are using RCS business messaging? Check out the following YouTube playlists from past GSMA Mobile World Congresses, to see live RCS business messaging demos.

That brings us back to the question: What percentage of U.S. consumers can receive RCS business messages?

According to Mobilesquared, at the end of 2018, 2% of U.S. consumers could receive an RCS business message on their mobile phone. That number skyrockets to 17% by the end of 2019, and to 24% by the end of 2020. You can see the entire data set below, from 2018 to 2023.

Image of six circle diagrams that display Mobilesquared's projected adoption rates for RCS in the U.S.

Projected RCS Adoption Rates in the U.S.

It’s important to note that most consumers will have the ability to send and receive RCS messages with friends and family on their mobile phones, before they will have the ability to receive RCS messages from businesses.

You can see the difference between availability of what is commonly referred to as P2P (person-to-person) vs. A2P (application-to-person) RCS messaging in the chart below. A2P RCS messaging is how businesses will send RCS messages to consumers.

This graphic shows two lines that represent the projected U.S. RCS adoption rates for P2P messaging and A2P messaging from 2018 until 2023.

RCS Business Messaging Graph – P2P vs A2P Adoption Rates

Another thing to note is that the data above from Mobilesquared assumes that Apple will not support RCS messaging. Interested in learning how Apple not supporting RCS will affect mobile marketers? Watch this video: What If Apple Doesn’t Support RCS Messaging?

Apple has a significant market share of mobile devices in the United States, which strongly impacts the U.S. adoption rate of RCS messaging. In other countries where Apple’s penetration is not as high, RCS adoption rates are much higher.

Interesting in learning more about how RCS business messaging adoption rates will impact mobile marketers? Check out the video I did on this topic by clicking here.

Want to learn more about RCS business messaging? Check out this RCS business messaging playlist we created on YouTube.


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