In this Tatango video, we are answering the question: What is RCS business messaging, and why is everyone in the mobile messaging industry talking about it?
What Does RCS Stand for?
RCS stands for Rich Communication Services. It is a new mobile messaging protocol, which is similar to text messaging. RCS actually can be put into the majority of mobile text messaging apps already.
What it allows is a richer communication channel. There are a bunch of new features that RCS will allow brands to use when they create marketing campaigns that target their customers. In this blog post, we are going through these features one by one. We tell you what they are, and how they can help the industry.
What Is RCS Business Messaging?
In 2008, mobile devices in the United States from the top wireless carriers started to come pre-loaded to support MMS marketing. This was a huge innovation for text message marketing, as now brands could send images, videos, and even longer mobile messages to consumers. Since launching MMS marketing over 9 years ago, we haven’t seen much in terms of innovation in mobile messaging, that is until now.
RCS business messaging is when a business uses RCS messaging to communicate to their customers. RCS business messaging can either be a consumer texting a business, or the business texting the consumer. RCS messaging allows businesses to develop more enhanced mobile messaging campaigns.
Many businesses such as Virgin Trains, Walgreens, Gamestop, Papa Murphy’s, Philips, Sky, SONIC® Drive-In, Subway, and Time Inc., have started to test RCS messaging, as part of Google’s Early Access Program.
Popular RCS Business Messaging Features
Below are some of our favorite RCS business messaging features.
RCS Custom Colors
The first feature we like to talk about is RCS custom colors. This feature allows a brand to use its own color palette, and it can customize the color palette of the text messaging experience. Right now, with SMS or MMS, you’re stuck with Apple colors, which is the standard, default colors. With RCS, each individual message from a different brand will have its own color scheme, which could be pretty cool.
RCS Branded Icons
The next feature we like to mention is RCS branded icons. Here at Tatango, we are very excited about this feature. In our text message streams, we have all our friends’ faces, but we don’t have the brand logos when we interact with them via text messages. When you use RCS to interact with a brand, you will see its logo instead of just a blank face.
RCS Verified Sending
Then there’s RCS-verified sending. There are a lot of text message phishing attacks happening right now. You will get a text message from what presumably could be your bank, but it’s actually not your bank.
With RCS, there is going to be a feature called verified sending, which allows a brand to be verified. On the receiving end, consumers then know it is the actual brand that is messaging them. This feature is going to protect a lot of those consumers.
RCS Suggested Actions
The next feature is RCS suggested actions. These suggested actions are like little buttons in a text message. Instead of just putting a link, which is kind of boring, this feature creates a much better messaging experience.
Like with an email or a website where you can actually have buttons that, when clicked, can open up a map, a video, a mobile website, or maybe even initiate a call. Instead of having just links, putting links behind text message buttons is a huge mobile messaging innovation. People like clicking on buttons much more than just a static text link.
RCS Quick Replies
There is also a pretty ingenious RCS quick replies feature that provides a bunch of cool applications for mobile messaging. With this feature the RCS developers have, again, made use of the button concept. A consumer clicks on the quick replies button, and essentially, on the back end, the button then sends a specific message, the text of a message, to the brand. You can kind of think about it like Yelp messages or messages from OpenTable.
Let’s say OpenTable messages you and says “Your table is ready.” Then, by clicking on the quick reply button, you actually send a new message back to the brand with the response “Yes.” It doesn’t actually say that on the button. It says something like “Confirm your table, click here.” When a consumer clicks on the button, it sends a message on the back end that the software provider then processes.
RCS Rich Cards
Rich cards are another RCS feature we like to talk about in this blog post. With rich cards, you can, for example, be able to select the seat on an airline from within your messaging stream. The feature is like an interactive map within messaging.
Currently, with text messaging or MMS, if you want to see a map, or you want to have some kind of interaction, you need to click on a message and go to another app or go to a mobile website. Rich cards will actually allow you to do a lot of those things right within the messaging stream, which is really beneficial for mobile marketers.
RCS High Definition Images
The next feature on our list is RCS high definition images. If you have ever gotten a text message, you know, the image is good, but it’s not excellent. This is also the case with MMS. It is good, but it is not excellent. With RCS, you will be able to send high definition images to subscribers. Think about the opportunities for retail companies when they are able to send high definition images.
RCS High Definition Videos
Another feature is RCS high definition videos. With RCS, you are most likely going to be able to send extremely long videos and high quality videos. This is a great improvement, because with MMS messaging right now, you are limited to a certain size and a certain length for a video. Therefore, the video quality and the size capability of RCS is most likely going to be much greater than MMS, which is another amazing benefit for retail companies that want to show off their products.
Check Out Our RCS Feature Demos
Those are the RCS features that are currently being developed. Over the last couple of years, we have already been able to see sneak peaks of some of these features during Mobile World Congress events in Barcelona and San Francisco. If you want to see the RCS features in action, then check out the many RCS use case demos that are available at the Tatango text message marketing YouTube channel.
- Mobile World Congress 2019 (MWC19)
- Mobile World Congress 2018 –GSMA RCS Demo Walkthroughs
- Mobile World Congress Americas – RCS Demos (2017)
Want to see even more RCS demos, and learn more about this new mobile messaging protocol? Then also check out the following Tatango playlists.
Interested in RCS Business Messaging?
SMS software provider Tatango has been an active player in the text message marketing industry for more than 12 years. During those years, we have been keeping track of the growing influence and continuous developments of RCS messaging features. We believe that it now is the perfect time for brands and their marketers to try out this innovative new mobile messaging protocol.