Your questions answered: RCS

We love a chinwag at Comapi. And a lot of you lately have wanted to natter about Rich Communication Services (RCS). Specifically about what it means for your business. Here are three of the most common ones we hear. If you have any more or want to find out more, feel free to get in touch. Just use our web chat, or give us a call.

What do we know so far about the price?

The dust is yet to settle on the cost of RCS. However, we have inferred as much as we can from early adopter countries and typical usage so far. After speaking with our partners at Google, we can say it’s expected to be in line with the regional costs of SMS, even with all the additional functionality it offers. There are likely to be two pricing models. There’s transactional (i.e. the cost per message) and session-based (the cost per conversation).

What will this mean for SMS?

RCS will no doubt become the standard app for messaging for at the very least all Android users. But this process may take a number of years. For those who worship at the mantle of iPhone, it’s a possibility they may never use RCS. Instead, they’ll likely be using an Apple exclusive channel such as iMessage. This means that, at least for the foreseeable future, SMS is not going anywhere. Don’t ignore it if you want to ensure everyone is getting the message (which presumably, you do!).

Does this mean the death of the app?

It’s no secret that both app production and app use is in considerable decline. Apps had their place in business-to-consumer ecosystems once. Websites were often designed with desktop usage in mind with mobile as an afterthought. This made accessing a company’s website a clunky and disengaging experience. But now that sites are not just designed to be responsive, but are often designed mobile-first, app usage has started to decrease. Given that apps are expensive to manufacture and maintain, many businesses are now seeing little value in producing them.

Combine this with the fact that RCS’ design keeps users in one place, allowing them to source information without having to scour for it themselves on a browser, and store booking information or tickets and vouchers without another app, it seems unlikely that companies will redevelop this interest. So does this mean the death of the app? Well yes, and no.

While the production of apps will certainly continue to slow, those with well-developed apps that provide genuine value have a unique opportunity. With RCS, they will have the ability to include deep links in their messages to push more users to the app (if they have it installed) or to the Play Store to install it. What’s more, some industries such as the financial sector, or gaming companies, who have particularly unique or dependent offerings in their app experiences can use RCS to complement their app usage, in the same way that Push notifications are used currently. Don’t forget, RCS can also be used in tangent with your two-factor verification. This will allow users to copy their one-time code without even opening the message, and pasting into your app if required.

In a nutshell, if you have a worthwhile app, RCS will be a great way to drive traffic to it and increase usage. If you do not have an app, or are considering cutting out the expense of managing it in favour of something more efficient, then RCS will be a great replacement for this.

See also: The evolution of messaging

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