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Google puts an end to RCS ad controversy, shuts down business messaging in India

Google puts an end to RCS ad controversy, shuts down business messaging in India
Photo Credit: Pixabay
31 May, 2022
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Google has reportedly admitted to the issues of ads plaguing its messaging app in India, and the company is now disabling the feature in the country. The company's messaging service Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a widely used tool for businesses across the world to deliver ads and promotional content to their customers.  

However, in India, there have been reports of companies using the platform to spam users. What compounded the problem is the ‘Verified Business’ label on these messages.  

Google said that it is limiting RCS for businesses in India. This means businesses in India will no longer be able to send promotions or ads via Google Messages. 

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“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 a statement. 

The issue with growing ads on Google Messages in India came into limelight earlier this month. 

Affected users had taken to Twitter and other social media platforms to report issues with the increasing number of ads on Google Messages over the past few months. As brought into notice by tech tipster Ishan Agarwal on Twitter, the promotional content was disturbing users especially due to the fact that it was coming on the app that comes pre-installed and is default on most Android phones nowadays. 

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A large part of the promotional content included personal loan ads that were pushed by banks and financial institutions including Kotak Mahindra Bank and Bajaj Finserv, among others. 

The content thought as ‘verified’ could, therefore, be considered as a regular communication by some users. 

Google has also assured that it will be working with the industry to improve the experience for users. It needs to be mentioned that the feature is available globally even though it got discontinued in India. Moreover, shutting down the feature seems like a temporary fix. At the moment it is still unclear how the company will combat the situation in future.

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