Some businesses are betting heavily on the future of text messaging.
Rich Communication Services (RCS) enables businesses to text customers more than just words, adding maps, graphics, package notification, read receipts and other features to their digital missives. The features are new to Android phones but have been available for some time on Apple devices through the iMessage feature.
Though 40 businesses are involved in the Android rollout, active participation by customers will be minor.
Google’s blog post notes specifically that it has “collaborated with Sprint” in the US, the services are coming to Mexico “soon,” and other regions and businesses are meant to follow after that.
So it’s a relatively small rollout, meaning only a small sliver of Android users will have the opportunity to negotiate a footlong from Subway in full RCS richness. For the rest, Google says, RCS for business will fall back to standard SMS.
The technology doesn’t apply only to text messaging; features enable messaging apps such as Twilio to offer a richer experience for both users and brands.