Apple's RCS Rollout and What it Means for Marketers

RCS for marketers
Published on
Jun 14, 2024
Written by
Kasey Hickey
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After years of holding out, Apple is giving both consumers and marketers the gift of richer experiences. 

In a significant move that could reshape the landscape of mobile communication, Apple has finally announced the integration of Rich Communication Services (RCS) in their upcoming iOS 18 update. 

This development isn't just a technical upgrade—it's a strategic enhancement that'll bridge the communication gap between iOS and Android devices, heralding a new era of enriched messaging experiences.

Why RCS matters

For years, Android users have enjoyed the benefits of RCS, which brings features akin to Apple's iMessage to their platform, including read receipts, typing indicators, and the ability to send high-quality media. Now, Apple's adoption of RCS promises a unified messaging experience across mobile ecosystems, ensuring that features once exclusive to iMessage will be available in cross-platform communications.

In markets like India, Brazil, and Mexico, where Android dominates, brands have already been leveraging RCS to engage customers with richer content and better interaction. With Apple accounting for 65% of the US smartphone market, this presents a potentially significant shift in adoption.

With Attentive, marketers can already send hyper-personalized messages to consumers on Apple and Android devices. However, this recent announcement offers the chance to create even more engaging experiences.

Potential opportunities for marketers

There has already been a lot of speculation around what this news means for both consumers and marketers. By 2025, Jupiter Research predicts that there will be an estimated 2.1 billion active RCS users worldwide. With this level of adoption, marketers should be paying attention. 

Here are some of the ways RCS could‌ benefit marketers (and how we’re thinking about it):

  1. Enhanced customer interactions: RCS opens up new avenues for interactive and personalized messaging campaigns. With it, brands can engage both Android and iPhone users with the same high level of interactivity, providing a cohesive user experience that drives engagement and conversion. For example, RCS allows brands to add suggested replies instead of having the recipient type their own. They can also add multiple images that subscribers can swipe through.
  2. Increased revenue opportunities: With RCS, brands (including global ones) can send interactive content like carousels, polls, and more, directly increasing engagement and, subsequently, sales opportunities.
  3. Better insights and analytics: RCS allows for better tracking and analytics of message delivery and interaction. This data is invaluable for optimizing messaging strategies and understanding customer preferences. With richer datasets, AI capabilities can further benefit marketers, allowing them to hyper-personalize future experiences for their customers. 
  4. Global reach: Given that a large percentage of global mobile users are on Android devices, this update gives brands the ability to reach a wider audience around the world. 

Looking ahead

This announcement comes after years of Apple facing pressure to support RCS, and its integration in iOS 18 could transform the landscape of mobile communications for both marketers and consumers. Our product team is continuing to explore, test, ‌and integrate RCS capabilities to make sure that Attentive customers always stay ahead of the curve.

Want to stay updated with new feature releases and product launches? Be sure to check our Release Notes

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