Distinction between GBM and RCS

  • Messaging

Google Business Messaging and Google RCS, what’s the difference?

LivePerson offers two different solutions that often get confused due to their relation to Google. The two offerings have very little in common, and this document aims to explain what their differences are. 

GBM (Google Business Messages) GBM offers the ability for consumers to initiate conversations with brands through Google entry points like Google Maps locations and Google search engine results. It uses built-in, proprietary Google conversation functionality and no brand development is needed to set it up.

RCS (Rich Communication Services) RCS is a richer and more secure standard meant to replace the traditional SMS technology. RCS can only be initiated by the brand using an outbound message through SmartConnect. RCS is still in its early phases due to low (yet growing) consumer devices and telcos supporting it. You may have heard RCS referred to as “GRBM” - this is Google’s implementation of RCS, but different telcos plan to offer their own version of RCS. Going forward we’ll refer to all deployments as “RCS” regardless of the provider (Google or a telco).

 GBM: Google Business MessagingRCS: Rich Communication Services
General conceptA set of Messaging entry points controlled by GoogleA better and fancier SMS
Other namesGoogle My BusinessRBM, Rich Business Messaging, Google RBM, Plus Message
Entry pointsGoogle Maps, Site Links, Answer Card, URLsVoice to Messaging, Proactive Outbound (using SmartConnect API)
Consumer reachGoogle Maps users (67% world wide), Google search engine users (over 90% of smartphone users outside of China)Number of supported users varies by country, currently at 5%-15% and growing steadily.
OS requirediOS and AndroidAndroid only
Software requiredGoogle Maps: iOS and Android, Organic Search and Answer Card: Android OnlyAndroid Messages or Samsung Messages
Rich functionality supportedProduct Carousel, Rich Cards, Rich Media, Quick RepliesProduct Carousel, Rich Cards, Rich Media, Quick Replies
Brand development effort requiredNone (Minor configuration effort is required)Requires SmartConnect implementation

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