Imagine having only watched television in black and white for most of your life, and suddenly you can watch in color. Once you’ve seen color, it would be hard to go back. Now apply this scenario to texting. As the name implies, Rich Communication Services (RCS) makes standard SMS and picture messaging (MMS) richer and more interactive. Soon, this technology will come preloaded on all new Android devices, and users with older versions will be able to download software updates that add RCS functionality.

Google invited the Zipwhip team to demo its RCS product for Android phones at GSMA’s Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco last month. It was an honor to participate and provide a first-hand look at how RCS will revolutionize our daily interactions with one another and the businesses we trust. The demo illustrated how valuable texting can be when businesses and people need to communicate directly with each other. Confirming an appointment – whether it’s for maintenance on your car or a haircut – and adding a scheduled reminder can be as easy as pressing a “confirm” button within your texting app. Even a simple calendar sync, which is impossible today, saves time and adds value to the conversation. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what RCS will be capable of. Soon you will be able to order a car, pay a bill or swipe through restaurant menus all inside the texting app built natively into every phone.

Telecom industry leaders are setting their sights on building out RCS functionality and delivering it to consumers as soon as possible. One of the most exciting things about this functionality is that it is an open standard, meaning any company can adopt it within their own product and invest in its success. End users will see an increasing set of features coming their way, eliminating the need to use extra apps.

The reality is that consumers don’t want to place phone calls or leave voicemails. They want the option to text their favorite businesses on their own terms. Relieving that pain point is the primary purpose behind Zipwhip’s two-way texting software, and the reason why RCS is going to be a game changer for companies. Soon, businesses will be able to have more personalized, interactive conversations with their customers at scale.

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