At the end of last year, Google announced that it had officially pulled the plug for Allo, the latest in a long list of failed messaging apps. This list includes Google Wave, Google Plus, Google Buzz, and more recently Google Hangouts (which has evolved into a business-focused Hangouts chat and Hangouts Meet).
While the consumer messaging strategy remains confusing, Google is undertaking an aggressive, two-pronged attack on the world of business messaging. As a result, it seems to be on a collision course with one of its big tech rivals.
Google My Business Messaging
Back in July, Google gave companies the opportunity to add chat to Google's business profiles. This enabled customers looking for a cell phone to start a conversation with them much as they would make a call:
With these messages in Maps, you do not have to worry about accidentally sending "I love you, mother" to the shoe store you sent messages to. First, companies had to use the messaging platforms of their own devices to respond to customer requests. In November, however, Google revised the Google My Business app, which allows small businesses to deliver messages to customers directly from the platform.
Google launches the Business App worldwide and adds the "Message" button to the Google Maps business profiles on both Android and iOS. As Google suggests in its announcement, Maps is a very intuitive place where customers can discover local businesses and socialize:
Take a bite out of Apple
Implementing its business messaging strategy for finding businesses – its undoubted strength – is a smart move from Google. It also threatens Apple's eagerly anticipated push in business messaging. Apple began launching its non-US business chat platform in October to enable global brands and customers to interact through iMessage. The platform's active brands, which are still in beta, include the Four Seasons hotels, West Elm and Burberry.
Apple's business messaging advantage is discoverability. iPhone and iPad users searching through Safari, Spotlight, or Apple Maps can click the Message button in a company profile to open iMessage and initiate a conversation:
Appearance and sound familiar?
To make things even more interesting, Google recently agreed to pay Apple $ 9 billion to remain the default search engine in the Safari browser on the iPhone, according to a Goldman Sachs analyst. What happens when an Apple user discovers a business through Google and starts chatting? The conversation opens in the iPhone's News app, but instead of iMessage, the messages are sent via text message (iPhone people: that means green bubbles instead of blue), which makes Apple's control impossible.
Theoretically, Apple Business Chat still has a fortress on Apple Maps. However, Google Maps is consistently one of the top apps on the iTunes Store, and may take another important discovery path from Business Chat.
The Google My Business Update is just one of Google's business messaging games that seems to be gaining in importance. The company's failure to develop its own standalone messaging app that can compete with iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger has led to a renewed focus on the renewal of text messaging through RCS as the universal standard for text messaging , RCS stands for Comprehensive Communications Services, providing group chat, read receipts, writing indicators, brand profiles, and other advanced messaging features for old-fashioned text messaging.
Many businesses still rely on SMS to send transactional messages such as boarding passes, receipts, and shipping notices to consumers. Global telecom companies, which have lost the lion's share of consumer messaging traffic to chat apps, will definitely maintain this market share, which is projected to reach $ 70 billion by 2020, according to Zion Market Research. And this is exactly what Facebook seems to be watching with its WhatsApp Business API, which was launched early in August and is expected to be widely available next year.
Google intends to make RCS the backbone of its native chat app (the answer from Android to Apple's news), but it requires device manufacturers and global telecoms companies to support the new standard. The Verge recently reported that Verizon will introduce support for RCS messaging in early 2019, according to SVP of Consumer Products.
Verizon was one of the last major telco holdouts in the US. This is a good sign for longtime RCS enthusiasts. A recent report predicts that more than 1 billion people in 168 global carriers will use RCS every month by the end of 2019, and brands will spend over $ 18 billion on messaging consumers by 2023.
Suddenly RCS does not seem that long anymore. Google has now found its messaging mojo.