According to a focus group conversation conducted by Synchronoss (NASDAQ: SNCR), the U.S. market is ready for carrier-backed, brand-oriented Rich Communication Services (RCS)-based messaging. After convening dozens of U.S. consumers of all ages to discuss their mobile messaging habits, Synchronoss was able to demonstrate the value of RCS to carriers and brands to increase user engagement and generate new revenue.
RCS is an easy-to-use, feature-rich, cross-carrier advanced interactive messaging platform available on all mobile devices. The evolution of this carrier-LED SMS push service not only integrates advanced multimedia capabilities into text messaging, but also enables users to do so through a single messaging platform and a single contact list for friends, family, and services Everything they currently do in multiple apps.
RCS can also serve as a robust privacy-by-design direct selling ecosystem, offered by operators to major brands. Brands will be able to take advantage of new permissions-based, secure and personalized communication channels, as well as the high open, response and click-through rates of SMS. At the same time, operators will have the opportunity to increase revenue beyond their traditional business scope and further strengthen their reputation as protectors of user privacy.
Synchronoss, a global leader and innovative company in cloud technology, messaging, digital and IoT products, and an RCS-based + messaging service provider launched by Japan’s three major operators in May 2018, reported to the focus group’s Participants asked about their current messaging behavior and introduced them to RCS functionality. The resulting discussion demonstrated a clear need for an operator-supported RCS, with convenience and operator trust at the heart of their expectations for this new form of mobile communications.
“When asked what they thought about messaging today, participants saw a clear distinction between ‘messaging’ and ‘texting,’” said Glenn Lurie, Synchronoss president and CEO. “‘Messaging’ is used on Facebook. Messaging apps like Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram, while ‘texting’ is considered a completely different activity outside the realm of messaging. For consumers, texting is a no-brainer.”
This is good news for operators. While consumers may use multiple messaging apps for different purposes, nearly everyone texts, and many more. Consumers trust traditional text messaging services because they think it’s safe and secure, and they know their personal contacts can use text messaging, which isn’t necessarily the case with messaging apps. In fact, the most commonly used messaging apps are preloaded native apps that integrate SMS and device-centric messaging services such as iMessage or Android Messages. This preference for and trust in SMS presents a clear opportunity for operator-backed RCS to build on consumers’ existing loyalty to text messaging.
RCS has a wide range of functions. Includes basic person-to-person chat as well as “mobile app”-like experiences such as booking and scheduling services or purchasing items directly from the RCS app. Focus group members embraced the idea of a digital life in a one-stop single messaging app that includes friends, family and favorite brands. They want to avoid multiple apps and simplify mobile communications into one all-encompassing tool. This eliminates the hassle for users of separate messaging apps that are sometimes clumsy and inconvenient, and those apps that take up a lot of device memory.
In addition to better understanding consumers’ mobile messaging preferences, the study provides some key findings for operators.
“Three conclusions can be drawn from our study,” Lurie said. “First, operators must prioritize person-to-person communications to ensure RCS is seen as an app for everyday texting and push messaging. Easily control interactions with your favorite brands. Ultimately, operators must prioritize privacy and security to make RCS an app consumers trust. RCS is an incredible opportunity for operators and brands. Consumers love it functionality, and brands like its potential to be a safe and attractive marketing channel.”
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