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Is Google preparing to fight Facebook's WhatsApp with RCS messaging?

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CIOInsider Team

BENGALURU, India – October 29, 2019 Google's Android OS can be found on majority of smartphones but its antiquated messaging standard has always fallen behind Apple's iMessage. Google has also failed to create a worthy challenger to WhatsApp and Telegram. The company is finally trying to roll-out its Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol that will let Android users experience features such as typing indicator, better group chat functionality, and high-resolution attachments. However, despite its best efforts, Google is still finding it difficult to get the carriers around the world on board.

Furthermore, Google has tried and failed in its attempt to build a solid messaging platform. There was Google Hangouts and the latest to bite the dust was Allo messenger application. The Menlo Park-based company has now decided to focus on RCS based chat app to take on popular platforms like Facebook-owned WhatsApp which boasts of over a billion users. The chat app hasn't rolled out

yet but Android users can already try and enable RCS irrespective of the smartphone or the carrier.

More so, Google could use the RCS messaging platform to strengthen its advertising business. Facebook too, via WhatsApp, is looking to introduce advertisements to its messenger app. Google could do the same and eventually look to enable businesses to send messages to their potential customer. To enable RCS in Messages, users will have to follow a few simple steps.

• Switch off the Wi-Fi and download Activity Launcher app and Google Messages beta from the Play Store.
• Open Activity Launcher and tap Recent Activities and choose All Activities.
• Locate 'Set RCS Flags' and after pressing it to select 'ACS URL' and in the menu select 'rcs acs prod us sandbox google com’.
• Clear the data of 'Carrier Services' and force stop 'Android Messages’.
• Select OTP Pattern, and in the menu click the option from the drop down menu.
• User will now come across a prompt to turn on RCS in the official client

Is Google's RCS a threat to WhatsApp?
Google's next-gen messaging system is still far behind the likes of WhatsApp and Telegram. RCS will not have end-to-end encryption unlike most of the existing messaging platforms. The lack of privacy and security will make it hard for users to adopt it. But, may be, Google isn't looking to compete with WhatsApp or any other existing messaging platform.

Google could use the RCS messaging platform to strengthen its advertising business. Facebook too, via WhatsApp, is looking to introduce advertisements to its messenger app. Google could do the same and eventually look to enable businesses to send messages to their potential customers. With RCS, Google, it seems, has bigger plans of becoming the centre of activity from which every operator, and their customers, can be contacted.

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