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Google Is Acquiring Rich Messaging Startup Jibe Mobile

The startup has been working with carriers to help them natively add video chat into their services.

Tyler Pina for Re/code

Google said on Wednesday that it has acquired Jibe Mobile, a messaging startup that specialized in helping carriers build support for native video messaging into their services.

The effort, designed to make video chat as ubiquitous and interoperable as text messages, is known as Rich Communications Services, or RCS.

“We’re very excited to announce that the Jibe Mobile team is joining Google to help us bring RCS to a global audience,” Google said in a statement to Re/code. “Jibe is a leading provider of RCS services and they’ll continue helping carriers easily deploy RCS to their users. We can’t wait to work with them and build on the great work that they’ve already done.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Update: Google said it is making the purchase as part of a commitment to supporting RCS as part of its messaging strategy.

“SMS carrier messaging is used by billions of people every day and enables people to reach anyone around the world, regardless of their device, carrier, app or location,” Android engineer and “minister of messaging” Mike Dodd said in a blog post. “However, the features available in SMS haven’t kept up with modern messaging apps. Rich Communications Services (RCS) is a new standard for carrier messaging and brings many of the features that people now expect from mobile messaging, such as group chats, high res photos and more.”

Dodd said Google will continue to work with carriers on this. “We’re excited to team up with mobile operators, device makers and the rest of the Android ecosystem to support RCS standards and help accelerate their deployment in a more consistent way,” Dodd said. “We’re already working closely with many of our partners on implementing RCS, and look forward to growing the RCS ecosystem together.”

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