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. For further information, please contact Shawn Davidson, Peter Garuccio, or Eyal Brami.

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 Messaging RCS: Rich Communication Services
General concept A set of Messaging entry points controlled by Google A better and fancier SMS
Other names Google My Business RBM, Rich Business Messaging, Google RBM, Plus Message
Entry points Google Maps, Site Links, Answer Card Voice to Messaging, Proactive Outbound (using SmartConnect API)
Consumer reach Google 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 required iOS and Android Android only
Software required Google Maps: iOS and Android, Organic Search and Answer Card: Android Only Android Messages or Samsung Messages
Rich functionaity supported Text and Images (richer functionality is being worked on) Product Carousel, Rich Cards, Rich Media, Quick Replies
Brand development effort required None (Minor configuration effort is required) Requires SmartConnect implementation