Google’s RCS messaging platform gains new backers, including Twilio

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Cloud communications platform Twilio has added support for Rich Communications Services messaging. 

RCS is a Google initiative launched in 2015 which the search giant has been heavily investing in.

RCS is currently supported by more than 40 telecommunications carries are is a new type of messaging platform.

As well as enabling companies to communicate directly with customers, RCS can offer services such as in-app purchases of goods and services from those companies.

The messages within RCS is not like a typical SMS string of text, but it works on pretty much any Android device, according to Google.

In its blog at the launch of RCS, Google said: “The features available in SMS haven’t kept up with modern messaging apps.

“RCS is a new standard for carrier messaging and brings many of the features that people now expect from mobile messaging, such as group chats, high res photos and more.”

The way carriers and device manufacturers can connect to the RCS platform is through the Jibe RCS Hub.

Google acquired Jibe around the time it launched RCS. Jibe had been developing a cloud-based RCS platform.

Twilio is also a cloud-communications platform. It’s mainly aimed at software developers and enables them to programmatically make and receive phone calls and send and receive text messages using APIs.

Twilio’s support for RCS will give “every messaging application built using Twilio’s platform the ability to reach users via rich, interactive messages”, says the company.

Twilio says its research suggests that 66 per cent of consumers prefer to communicate with brands and companies via messaging over any other means.

Using RCS, users will be able to view high-res pictures and video, add appointments to their calendar, receive directions to a business location, initiate a support call and share their location from within the message, among other things.

“The number of consumer messaging channels continues to proliferate and businesses are under pressure to keep up,” said Patrick Malatack, general manager of messaging at Twilio.

“When developers build on Twilio, they trust that we will support every messaging channel consumers want to communicate on, now and in the future, all through one simple messaging API.

“With Twilio’s addition of RCS, you get a powerful rich messaging experience paired with the broad reach of SMS. We look forward to helping businesses future-proof their applications and can’t wait to see what they build.”