Google may be throwing its full weight behind RCS messaging, but it’s been forced to suspend the feature in India due to businesses abusing it to spam users.
RCS is the successor to SMS, adding many of the features that have come to define other messaging platforms, such as Apple’s iMessage and WhatsApp. RCS adds in group administration, read receipts, file sharing, end-to-end encryption and much more. Google has been aggressively pushing the tech for some time, but it is now pulling back in the Indian market after uses complained of unrelenting spam messages.
“Google Messages is becoming the worst possible Google app. The amount of ads its sending is crazy, multiple every day. Yes, these are NOT messages, these are ads being pushed by the app to Indian users. It’s the default messaging app on most Android phones here.”
— Ishan Agarwal (@ishanagarwal24), May 16, 2022
According to TechCrunch, the complaints have led Google to suspend RCS in India for the time being.
“Some businesses are abusing our anti-spam policies to send promotional messages to users in India,” Google said in a statement. Google is disabling the feature while it “works with the industry to improve the experience for users.”
RCS is a major step forward for messaging, and it’s a shame that businesses have ruined the experience to such a degree that Google had to take these measures. Hopefully the company will be able to put adequate safeguards in place to prevent this from happening in the future and pave the way for a return of RCS.