Google Disables RCS Ads In India Following Rampant Business Spam – TechCrunch

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Google has disabled companies’ ability to use RCS for promotion in India, the company’s biggest market by users, following reports of rampant spam by some companies in a setback for the standard the company hopes will be l future of SMS messaging.

Rich Communication Services, or RCS, is the collective effort of a number of industry players to supercharge traditional SMS with modern features like richer texts and end-to-end encryption.

Google, Samsung, and a number of other companies, including telcos, have rolled out RCS support to hundreds of millions of users worldwide in recent years. Google said last month that RCS messaging in the Messages app for Android had amassed more than 500 million monthly active users.

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At its developer conference last month, the company also urged “every mobile operating system” (in a subtle swipe at Apple) to support RCS, which is also aimed at helping companies reach Apple users. a more interactive way.

The problem, however, is that dozens of businesses in India, including major banks and other lending companies, have abused the feature to send unsolicited promotional material to the phone number of anyone they can find. in the country.

Several users started complaining about it on Twitter last month and it seems their messages have reached Google.

In a statement, Google acknowledged that “some companies are abusing our anti-spam policies to send promotional messages to users in India.” Following this, Google said it was disabling the feature as it “works with the industry to improve user experience”.

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