You use it every day, probably multiple times a day. Only you know how many of the of the 200,000 iMessages sent per second are yours, but one thing is for sure, with its low latency and high response rates, messaging offers the fastest communications channel.
Consider that over 63 quadrillion iMessages are sent annually (yes, that is more than 200,000 iMessages per second). With this scale just on Apple (AAPL) alone, it is clear why messaging has captured the attention of major players. Facebook's (FB) February 2014 $19bn acquisition of WhatsApp proves this point. But, with its Android operating system software powering more than 85% of smartphone handsets globally, one would have expected Alphabet (GOOGL) to be more of a dominant player in the messaging market. However, this has not been the case. Instead, each handset OEM opted to modify Android to its own purposes and thus undercut the opportunity to offer a common standard for messaging development and application.
But, Alphabet wants to change this, and, according to David Pierce of Wired, “over the last couple of years, Google has been working with hundreds of carriers and manufacturers around the world to bring the text message into the 21st century. Using a standard called Rich Communications Services, the group plans to make a texting app that comes with your phone and is every bit as powerful as those dedicated messaging apps. This would make all the best features available to everyone with an Android phone.”
In 2015, Alphabet bought Jibe to make RCS happen and since then has been working with a new implementation of the GSMA standard called Universal Profile, powering it with Google tech and integrating it into the Messenger app.
Mobile Messaging is where the eyeballs are. So, for Alphabet, the Messenger app will be key to the whole equation as it is where users will engage with the new features along with the old SMS and MMS messages. It’s interesting to note that the app will no longer called be called Messenger, but is now Android Messages. Google seems intent that this app be viewed as Android, not Google.