Google has disabled the ability for businesses to use RCS to promote in India, the company’s largest market by number of users, after reports of rampant spam from some firms over a standard the company hopes to make the future of SMS messaging.
Rich Communication Services, or RCS, is a collaborative effort by a number of industry players to complement traditional SMS with modern features such as rich text and end-to-end encryption.
Google, Samsung and a number of other firms, including carriers, have rolled out RCS support to hundreds of millions of users around the world in recent years. Google said last month that RCS messaging on the Messages app for Android had amassed more than 500 million monthly active users.
At its developer conference last month, the company also called on “every mobile operating system” (subtly alluding to Apple) to support RCS, which also aims to help companies reach out to users more interactively.
The problem, however, is that many businesses in India, including leading banks and other lending firms, are abusing this feature to send unwanted promotional material to any person’s phone number they can find in the country.
Several users started complaining about this on Twitter last month and it looks like their messages have reached Google.
In a statement, Google acknowledged that “some companies are abusing our spam protection policy to send promotional messages to users in India.” As a result, Google said it was disabling the feature as it “works with the industry to improve the user experience.”
Credit: techcrunch.com /