What is RCS and how does it work?

Communicating via text messages has become something common in recent years, especially since the massive adoption of smartphones and the large impact of the internet on our lives as a whole. In fact, it even predates the iPhone. SMS text messaging was deployed commercially in December 1992 and became really popular in the late 90s-early 2000s.

It was only 10 years ago when we started to increasingly communicate between us using internet channels and apps including MSN, Skype, iMessage, WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, etc.

Today, there’s a new messaging service, claiming to make our lives a lot more convenient. RCS messaging, or Rich Communication Services, is the next evolution of SMS. It presents another evolution in mobile messaging, suggesting it increases and improves the ways in which people and businesses communicate.

What is RCS?

RCS is a standard technology, or a communication protocol, that is set to replace SMS messaging due to its functionality. It was initially crafted in 2008, however, it didn’t get enough traction due to lack of carrier participation. Now 10 years later, Google announced that it’s adding 27 carriers to the RCS network to add more dynamic features to its Android Messages SMS app.

RCS allows features such as group chats, high-res photo sharing, location sharing, read receipts and typing indicators alongside their usual MMS and SMS services. Basically, it’s richer messaging content with features that we’re used to in messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

How does it work?

The RCS service will not rely on cellular connectivity like SMS text messages does, meaning that you’ll need a data connection in order to use it. This also means that you’d be able to use RCS from multiple devices – not just your smartphone.

RCS offers many benefits compared to its predecessor, SMS messaging. It provides the flexibility to write longer messages (with SMS your texts can only be 160 characters long) as well as to send video and audio messages, or a fun sticker. RCS also lets you know whether or not someone is online and available to chat.

Businesses love RCS because it provides them with opportunities to increase their engagement with customers by targeting them with personalized, rich-media messages.

If you have any questions of RCS and how it works, do not hesitate to ask us in the comments below!