Happy New Year – and hopefully 2024 will shape up to be an exciting one for the telemedia sector. Already, we are launching straight back into the impact that Apple’s loving embrace of RCS could have on both the market for RCS and the wider rich business messaging (RBM), not to mention the impact wider use of RCS could have on operator revenues.
According to the latest data from Juniper Research – whose analysts never sleep – global operator revenues from RCS business messaging traffic will grow from $1.3bn in 2023 to a whopping $8bn in 2025, as Apple’s compatibility with the messaging channel takes effect from its September 2024 iOS update.
The use of RCS by Apple is likely to see active RCS users grow by 900 million by the end of 2025.
RCS’s success has long been dependent on Apple embracing it. Despite what many say in the messaging industry, without Apple’s support, RCS would never have gained true mass-market appeal. Now that is set to come to fruition for all.
There is also a growing need to RCS to be used to help tackle growing revenue leakage and trust erosion seen through SMS business messaging.
Together, these two factors are set to see RCS become a force to be reckoned with in messaging relatively rapidly from the iOS update time.
But what does this mean for the other messaging channels? Of course, it is likely that while RCS will erode some business messaging traffic on some platforms, more it will drive overall business messaging use up for all. While SMS may be experience fraud issues, it is set to be the mainstay of messaging for some time to come. And while some users are falling out of love with WhatsApp, it remains very much in the ascendant for businesses reaching out across new channels. Remember, for many businesses, using messaging for marketing, engagement and customer service is still considered to be new-fangled.
What is perhaps more interesting is how messaging users – both businesses and the consumers that receive them – will start to blur the lines between messaging channels and start to ignore the channel. Already software start-up Texts is shilling an app for PCs and Macs that allows users to aggregate messages from iMessage, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Insta, Facebook, Telegram and more into one neat inbox. Having tried this out, I have started to not really care what the medium was, but what the message contained and just replied. This has made my life easier as it has simplified the management of the dizzying array of messages I receive, but it has also made communicating with me much easier. Add email and DSS feeds to this and I am sorted with one single point of contact.
This, I believe, is the true significance of Apple embracing RCS; it paves the way for a much more frictionless way for businesses to engage consumers – and with engagement being the key to driving VAS and ecommerce, this can only be a good thing. A Happy New Year indeed.