In Part 1 of this series, we focused on trends to mitigate robocalls in voice communications and began to look into efforts to cut down on unwanted text messages. In Part 2, we examined alphanumeric and long-code sender IDs in text messaging. Part 3 looks at next-generation trends and recommendations.
Just over a year ago, I was an RCS (rich communications service) skeptic. A big one! Meaning: I thought that the RCS standards were too fragmented, a waste of time, and too little, too late; that they wouldn’t make an impact on enterprise/brand messaging, among other thoughts. Certainly, the RCS opportunity has been lost for person-to-person messaging, with the overtaking of SMS by various messaging chat apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Snapchat, and others. However, since Mobile World Congress 2017, I have started to believe that there may be, at last, hope for RCS – especially as a primary channel for conversational messaging for brands and enterprises.
Over the past few years interesting phenomena has been occurring in the United States as well as Canada. Consumers continue to text each other (called Person-to-Person or P2P); however, unlike in many other regions such as Asia-Pacific and Europe, they continue to use SMS at rates not enjoyed in these other regions for several years.
Yesterday, Apple’s well-used iMessage OTT messaging service crashed, starting at approximately 3:15 PM EDT (US) and the outage continued for over 5 hours. As iOS (mostly iPhone) texters began seeing their text balloons turn green, rather than blue, Twitter began heavily trending #iMessage tweets as a result of the outage.
Mobile messaging, especially SMS-based messaging, has seen a resurgence of usage in the US market; however, it is not necessarily carrier-based SMS that has grown. There are a growing number of messaging apps and services that have been launched and announced, and services such as iMessage are just around the corner. This runs somewhat counter to recent industry and general press, were we’ve seen articles stating that “SMS is dead (or dying)” and that non-SMS “chat” services are displacing true, mobile-SMS interoperable services. Certainly, in some markets, non-SMS “chat” services have cannibalized some SMS revenues – especially outside of the USA and Canada, but in general mobile operator SMS (as we know it) is alive and well.