Google commits to RCS, the SMS successor, and acquires Jibe to prove it

Google has today announced that it is acquiring Jibe Mobile, a team that’s now getting on board to help Google bring Rich Communications Services (RCS) to a global audience. As per the company’s Android blog:

As part of this commitment, we’re also very excited to announce that the Jibe Mobile team is joining Google to help us bring RCS to a global audience. Jibe is a leading provider of RCS services and they’ll continue helping carriers easily deploy RCS to their users. We can’t wait to work with them and build on the great work that they’ve already done.

If this all sounds like a foreign language to you, you’re not alone. RCS, like SMS, is a carrier-based standard for messaging. And while messaging apps like Hangouts, Facebook Messages, WhatsApp, and others are gaining popularity, standard messaging via carrier tech is still more than common.

Basically, RCS intends to be the next SMS. SMS is just falling behind in its capabilities in a world where people expect to be able to send videos, photos, and other content easily to friends. RCS hopes to fix that, and Google is working with many partners to aly the groundwork to roll the technology out more widely.

However, the features available in SMS haven’t kept up with modern messaging apps. Rich Communications Services (RCS) is a new standard for carrier messaging and brings many of the features that people now expect from mobile messaging, such as group chats, high res photos and more.

Many leaders in the wireless industry have already put great work into laying the foundation for RCS, and we’ve heard from many of them that there are ways Android can help. We’re excited to team up with mobile operators, device makers and the rest of the Android ecosystem to support RCS standards and help accelerate their deployment in a more consistent way. We’re already working closely with many of our partners on implementing RCS, and look forward to growing the RCS ecosystem together.

Here’s what Jibe had to say on their blog:

As a good friend once told me, if you want to do something big, start with something small — a single, singular challenge you can lead, and rally others to support.

For Jibe — a company we founded in 2006 — that lesson came true today with the announcement that we’ve  been acquired by Google. The big opportunity we saw at the start: to change the way people communicate using their mobile phones.

The “small” challenge we focused on: the future of messaging, the super simple mode for communication that’s favored by billions of people, all over the world.