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Google Pauses RCS Ads Coming on Messages App in India to Address User Complaints

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Highlights:

  • According to Google, Indian businesses are abusing an RCS feature to deliver promotional messages.
  • The company has temporarily disabled the feature in India.
  • The move will not affect end-users or change RCS functionality in other markets.

Google Messages is the default messaging (SMS) app on Android smartphones that comes pre-loaded for users. Over the past few years, Google introduced its Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging service which looks to compete with Apple’s iMessage in terms of features.

But the platform seems to have gone rogue in markets like India, where people are being flooded with spam messages from verified business accounts. Most of these ads are about pre-approved loans from banks or financing firms. RCS was supposed to help people to send SMS in rich form, which includes adding emojis, pictures, and other multimedia items.

Google has paused the feature offered to businesses using Rich Communication Services (RCS) to deliver ads in India through its Messages app — as a result of an uproar among users for getting spam. The company has observed that such practices do not align with its policies, especially in sending promotional messages to users on the Messages app.

What is RCS for businesses and how is it suppose to be use?

As mentioned on the Google website, “RCS (Rich Communication Services) upgrades SMS with branding, rich media, interactivity and analytics. With RCS, businesses can bring branded, interactive mobile experiences, right to the default messaging app” of millions of people. However, as rightfully highlighted by Ishan Agarwal on Twitter, regular users should not have to face such an issue, especially on the default messaging application installed on their smartphone.

“We are aware that some businesses are abusing our anti-spam policies to send promotional messages to users in India. We are disabling this feature in India while we work with the industry to improve the experience for users,” a Google spokesperson quoted in the report. Google’s update suggests the company will stop the feature altogether, and for this, you might get an update on the Messages app which you should install right away.

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