Google has barred businesses from using RCS, or Rich Communication Services, in India after reports emerged that companies have been abusing the feature to spam users with multiple ads without consent.
"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," a company spokesperson told Android Authority.
In recent months, several users have complained about incessant RCS spam, primarily related to personal loans, gambling companies and life insurance.
Rich Communication Services, or RCS, is aimed at replacing the traditional SMS with a text-message system that is richer in features, allows multimedia sharing, and supports end-to-end encryption.
At a time when SMS is losing relevance due to feature-rich messaging services like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Apple's iMessage, RCS is supposed to help retain and grow SMS traffic.
The protocol is supported by Google, Samsung, and major telecom operators. In May, Google claimed that RCS messaging through the Messages app for Android had over 500 million monthly active users.
It has even urged Apple to adopt the protocol.
RCS Business Messaging (RBM) is intended to be a way for businesses to share essential information with users or products information if users request it.
According to Google:
"Credit card fraud alerts, flight status updates, and package delivery notifications are common examples of business-to-consumer SMS.
RCS (Rich Communication Services) upgrades SMS with branding, rich media, interactivity and analytics. With RCS, businesses can bring branded, interactive mobile experiences, right to the default messaging app."
(With inputs from Android Authority and IANS)