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We asked, you told us: RCS doesn't stand a chance in the messaging game

Almost 50% of voters say RCS doesn't stand a chance, while 28% say there are many hurdles in the way.
By
January 19, 2022
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Google criticized Apple last week for taking advantage of peer pressure around the iMessage app and the green bubble phenomenon. The company called on Apple to switch to the more modern RCS protocol for Android users in iMessage, as opposed to the archaic SMS standard.

Our own Rita El Khoury felt that RCS won’t solve Google’s messaging problems. But what do readers think of RCS and its prospects in the messaging landscape? Here’s how you voted in this poll.

In the messaging game, does RCS stand a chance?

Results

The poll gained over 2,400 votes after it was posted inside our opinion piece, and it turns out that almost half of all respondents (49.5%) think RCS doesn’t stand a chance at all in the messaging landscape.

It’s easy to see why people would take this stance, as RCS still has its share of problems (such as carrier support) and, perhaps more importantly, the rest of the world switched to IM apps a long time ago.

Almost 28% of polled readers said “maybe, but too many factors are at play.” In other words, some readers still think there’s an opening for RCS to succeed, but there are several hurdles in the way.

Meanwhile, 14.10% of respondents in the US think RCS is the future, while almost 9% of polled readers outside the US think it’s the future (a combined total of almost 23%). We can understand this viewpoint, as SMS is still heavily in use in the US, for example.

To put it all in perspective, just over 75% of voters think RCS either won’t succeed or that it has significant challenges to overcome before it achieves success.

Comments

  • Discendo Discimus: I’m in the US and everyone I know has long moved on to IP messaging. SMS as the article mentioned is spam central. People I know who use the iphone use Telegram now. If your email or phone number change, no problem, you keep your Telegram identity.
  • Will: I’ll stick to IP messaging with my friends, but just want RCS to work on all devices so I can send my grandma a video without the quality going to crap. WONT SOMEBODY THINK OF THE GRANDMA’S!!?!
  • Christian Aviles: Again I’m not sure RCS is the solution. But I can’t blame Google for trying to improve SMS considering how big that market still is in likely it’s most profitable user market. And any strategy needs some kind of olive branch from Apple or there always be issues. Nobody likes blurry videos or twenty “likes a video” in their feed.
  • Kerr: Never mind worrying about Apple, Google needs to firstly concentrate on getting RCS default on Android devices. You still have to install a compatible app and then have to turn it on, unlike ready made iMessage, which hurts uptake. If they worked with the likes of Samsung (I understand Google Messages is default on new US Samsung phones) then RCS would be on more phones worldwide than iMessage. That would then cause Apple to think.
  • C Peterson: I don’t really care. I have no interest in IP texting apps. When I text, I just use Messages, which works fine. Most of the time these days it seems to go RCS, judging by the status messages. For the few people I text that don’t have services that support it yet, or the handful who have iPhones, SMS is just fine. It’s a text. Anything more complex, I’ll send an email.
  • DeWayneLehman: It’s worse, Google actually had the emotion and loyalty with Hangouts. They owned chat long before Apple. They squandered it over some petty rivalries among execs who pushed their own app ideas, destroyed it with their Pixel 6 style “our users are our beta testers” support and crushed it with Reader style product abandonment. They had the love of users. They lost it, because they deserved to lose it. Let me repeat that, Google lost the chat race because it DESERVED to by its own actions of self destruction. I mean, are they gonna whine about lacking a social graph too after abandoning Google+?
  • Reggie Mason: I used RCS and had was constantly having to reconnect my devices. I finally gave up and went back to Pulse SMS. RCS does not like it when you use a VPN.
  • rom concepcion: RCS fails when I’m using dual SIM (S21Ultra) and it does not fall back to SMS. I’m using Google Messages.
    Messages just don’t send. I initially thought this happens to my case only but when a colleague sent me an email bec her text messaging is not working, I asked her to disable RCS and voila, it worked!