We're expecting Google to go all-in with Android Messages later this year to turn it into a true iMessage competitor, but until that day, folks in the U.S. and Mexico are getting a small treat of what's to come. Thanks to Google's never-ending push of Rich Communication Services (or RCS), businesses can now tap into this to offer more engaging experiences.
Instead of sending bland SMS texts, companies can use RCS to send rich and interactive messages to their customers that use Android Messages. Businesses like 1-800-Contacts, Booking.com, Subway, and OpenMarket will be leading this charge in the U.S., and Mexico will soon follow suit with 5 Piso, DHL, Secretaria de Salud, and more.
Per Google's official announcement:
This means, for example, that a retailer can send beautiful images of their products, rather than a text message, and even let the customer select and buy something, all without leaving the messaging app. Best of all, customers who have already opted in to SMS messages from a business get this upgraded experience automatically in Android Messages.
Google says that it's partnering with Sprint for this initial business rollout of RCS in the U.S., but there are 43 different carriers around the globe working on adopting Google's Jibe RCS Hub.