Google has hangouts, but it seems that failed to catch on. Later, they put SMS into hangouts and that also failed. But hold on, now Google thinks it has a brilliant idea: revolutionize SMS. In this new WhatsApp age you can count the number of times you send an SMS in a week. When was the last time you sent an SMS? A few people really send messages via SMS anymore, and Google knows it. Thanks to apps such as WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram, which allow you to send not only text messages but also photos, videos and group messages for free (minus the data), SMS usage is decreasing rapidly decreasing and this we have seen in our increase of data usage in Uganda.
Google has collaborated with over 800 mobile network operators around the world on reviving the SMS, according to a report by Quartz. We have seen many dedicated text messaging apps fail in their efforts to reignite our interest, but this is not just a face-lift of its SMS app, it’s a fundamental change. By partnering with so many worldwide operators, Google wants to create a universal RCS client used by all GSMA operators.
RCS stands for Rich Communication Services, which is a fancy way of indicating a client is not only allowed to send text messages and MMS but can share emoji, files, create group chats and even disclose to the sender when the recipient has received and read the message. Am sure that sounds familiar, and yes, there’s a reason for that. In short, Google wants to create a new SMS platform that will include all of the features of WhatsApp.
But will Google’s anticipated app outperform the competition? The advantages it will have is that it will become part of the Google family and therefore eventually be pre-installed on all Android devices, and that it will work around the world and with different operators. With that in mind, it’s possible that Google might challenge WhatsApp, but whether it can topple it is another matter.
There are no details about the cost involved in such a messaging platform yet either. We imagine that operators will have to start offering attractive SMS packages again, instead of focusing on data packets and ultra fast internet access.
Will WhatsApp remain the king of messaging or can Google overthrow it? Leave us a comment below