Twilio announced the addition of RCS (Rich Communications Services) to Twilio, giving every messaging application built using Twilio’s platform the ability to reach users via rich, interactive messages. A recent study found that 9 out of 10 consumers globally want to message with brands and that 66% of consumers prefer to communicate with brands via messaging over any other means.
Via RCS, consumers can view high resolution photos and videos, add appointments to their calendar, receive directions to a business location, initiate a support call and even share their location from within the message. With Twilio, developers can use one API to deliver powerful and diverse, rich messaging experiences for any device or platform while maintaining the ubiquitous reach of SMS.
RCS is an initiative to bring more enhanced messaging features to every phone on the planet through a universal standard. This standard brings the rich messaging features consumers expect from popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger with the universality of using the default messaging app on your phone. According to the GSMA, RCS is used by more than 157 million active users globally, implemented by more than 22 handset manufacturers and support announced on more than 50 carrier networks. Twilio is a part of Google’s Early Access Program which is designed to help brands and developers adopt RCS business messaging more easily.
“The number of consumer messaging channels continues to proliferate and businesses are under pressure to keep up,” said Patrick Malatack, general manager of messaging at Twilio. “When developers build on Twilio, they trust that we will support every messaging channel consumers want to communicate on, now and in the future, all through one simple messaging API. With Twilio’s addition of RCS, you get a powerful rich messaging experience paired with the broad reach of SMS. We look forward to helping businesses future-proof their applications and can’t wait to see what they build.”
Businesses are looking to maximize consumer reach while engaging consumers with the best possible messaging experience for their device. Previously, in order to support users across multiple messaging channels such as SMS or Facebook Messenger, developers would need to wrestle with variations in APIs, capabilities, and tooling. With Twilio, developers no longer need to deal with this fragmentation in the messaging ecosystem. In addition to enabling developers to integrate every messaging channel with one API, Twilio also enables business users to build RCS apps in minutes through Twilio Studio, a drag and drop communications builder.
In collaboration with Twilio, 1-800-Flowers.com is one of the first brands in the world to integrate RCS Business Messaging into their customer communications and is using the channel to send rich order confirmations and delivery updates, allowing customers to easily modify their order, delivery window, and more without ever having to sit on hold to speak with an agent.
“At 1-800-Flowers.com, communications is core to delivering a great end-to-end experience for both the sender and the recipient,” said Amit Shah, chief marketing officer at 1-800-Flowers.com. “RCS is now being used to enhance our customer experience by allowing customers to modify orders, track shipments and place additional orders within the message. Twilio allows us to deliver that experience using the same API we already use for SMS.”
“We’re pleased to have Twilio as part of our Early Access Program to help businesses upgrade their SMS messages to RCS,” said Amir Sarhangi head of RCS at Google. “Twilio’s support of RCS enables developers in Twilio’s ecosystem to build more dynamic messaging experiences for their customers, exponentially expanding the reach of RCS as a universal standard.“
RCS Business Messaging is now available in developer preview through Twilio Channels and will be showcased at Mobile World Congress next week in the GSMA Innovation City. To learn more, please visit https://www.twilio.com/channels/rcs.