Google stops business messaging in India, addresses RCS ad controversy

Google stops business messaging in India, addresses RCS ad controversy

RCS users in India will not receive promotional messages on the platform, for at least a while.

(Photo: Android Authority) (Photo: Android Authority)

Many businesses in India have been using Google’s RCS or Rich Communication Services for the past few months to deliver ads and promotional messages. And that leads to exactly what you think it means - a lot of spam. RCS users have been complaining about receiving multiple messages every day, some from senders labelled as “verified Business” on the Google Messages app.

Google has finally acknowledged the issue and told Android Authority that “businesses using RCS to deliver ads are in direct violation of the company’s policies”.

“We are aware that some businesses are abusing our anti-spam policies to send promotional messages to users in India. We are disabling this feature in India while we work with the industry to improve the experience for users,” Google said in the statement.

As pointed out by Android Authority, Google’s decision to disable RCS Business Messaging in India is ‘unprecedented’. While this feature is available globally to all users, it has “never been exploited elsewhere - or at least not to this degree”.

According to reports, Google “seems to have responded to the situation fairly quickly”, before other countries took a cue from India and adopted the practice too.

The company has not explained exactly how it plans to deal with unsolicited marketing, this decision to stop business messaging on RCS is only a temporary fix. All businesses in India using RCS have to relay messages through Google’s Jibe Cloud platform so it is possible for Google to “prevent abuse in the future”. Additionally, the default Google Messages app on Android could also get some new upgrades to detect spam in the future, reports state.

For now, whether you live in India or elsewhere, you can use RCS without having to worry about ads and promotional messages.

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