The first two months of this year went by in a flash. Here are our top stories from February from the messaging and telecoms world.
Lots of big RCS news this month, so let’s dive right into things with our first story:
RCS-capable subscribers to reach 1.2 billion globally in 2022
British industry experts Juniper Research have this month released a new report about RCS messaging. Juniper is forecasting that the market will grow from 1.2 billion this year to 3.8 billion in 2026, constituting 40% of mobile subscribers worldwide. This is a growth of 200% in just four years, despite the competition from OTT messengers.
Juniper recommends that to capitalise on this growth, RCS business messages should be monetised on a price-per-message basis, just like how SMS business messages are. However, they also point out that other monetisation models may prove more advantageous as the adoption of RCS increases.
GMS believes that RCS will be a cornerstone of business messaging in the future, and we’ve even run our own proof of concept with RCS business messaging in Ukraine. Click here to read all about what we discovered.
RCS app Google Messages comes as default messaging app on Samsung’s Galaxy S22
In the first quarter of the year Samsung unveils the latest update to their Galaxy S line, the Galaxy S22Samsung commands approximately a 20% share of the smartphone market worldwide, and with the Galaxy S being their flagship and most popular phone line, this makes the Galaxy S22 likely to be one of the most purchased phones in 2022.
When reviewers and purchasers received their Galaxy S22, many were surprised to find that Samsung’s default messaging app had been replaced by Google Messages. This seems like a minor change that might not affect the telecoms world that much, until you realise that Google Messages has RCS functionality built in.
This will be a huge boon for RCS, especially if this is something Samsung is going to continue to do with its devices. While the Galaxy S lines are very popular, Samsung’s cheaper A series are also well-liked, and their folding phones are the only real mass-market devices in the new emerging category. So it sounds like a lot more people are going to be using RCS in the near future.
WhatsApp to soon add a new feature for business messaging users
WhatsApp has announced that it will launch cover photos for business accounts in the near future. Cover photos have long been a staple of social media, seen everywhere from Twitter to LinkedIn to WhatsApp parent company’s other product — Facebook, who launched the feature for all accounts around a decade ago.
The idea behind adding the cover photos for businesses is to make the profiles look more professional, but there’s another aspect that you should consider if you use the platform — marketing. Currently the only space you have for communicating campaigns to your WhatsApp business messaging recipients is in the messages you send or the icon that you use for your business. But once cover photos are launched you’ll be able to keep your icon as your company logo, your messages on topic for your customers, and use the cover photo as an option to share content from your campaign.
We don’t know yet if this will make a difference, and cover photos aren’t even available to beta testers yet, but it’s definitely something to factor into upcoming campaign planning.
GSMA analyses the mobile economy in LATAM
The Latin American market is one of the biggest opportunities in the industry right now. We’ve talked previously about how Latin America is 3rd in A2P SMS traffic generation worldwide, but only 7th in revenue generation, and we’ve even shared in-depth analysis on the market on our blog. So we were excited to see GSMA also publishing research on the region, and thought we’d share a few highlights here for you:
- Smartphone adoption in LATAM should hit 81% by 2025
- In 2020 mobile tech and services generated 7.1% of LATAM’s GDP
- 4G is still predicted to be dominant in LATAM, as only 12% of connections in the region will be 5G by 2025