Google has acquired Jibe Mobile, a messaging startup specializing in helping carriers build support for native video messaging into their services, the Internet firm announced Wednesday. The financial details of the deal are being kept secret.
Google aims to improve messaging on Android
“We’re very excited to announce that the Jibe Mobile team is joining Google to help us bring RCS to a global audience. 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,” Google said in a statement to Re/code. The acquisition deepens Google’s commitment to support RCS as part of its messaging strategy.
RCS, or Rich Communications Services, is a new standard for carrier messaging that brings several features such as group chats, high-resolution photos sharing and more that users now expect from mobile messaging.
In a letter updated on Jibe Mobile homepage, Jibe’s CEO Amir Sarhangi mentioned that when they founded the company in 2006, they saw a big opportunity in changing the way people communicate with each other using their mobile phones. So far, Jibe has raised $9.1 million, including the most recent round of funding, $8.3 million in December 2012. The tech firm will continue to assist carriers in using RCS, but as a part of Google now.
Work already in progress
In a blog post, Mike Dodd, Android engineer and ‘minister of ‘messaging’, said there are billions of people who make use of SMS carrier messaging on a daily basis to reach anyone around the world irrespective of the device, carrier, app or location of the recipient. Dodd acknowledged that the features available in SMS are not on par with those used in modern messaging apps.
Google plans to team up with mobile operators, device makers and the rest of the Android ecosystem, all of whom will work together to support RCS standards and help accelerate their deployment in a more consistent manner. Dodd noted that the company had already started working closely with many of its partners to implement RCS.
At 9.40 am EDT Thursday, Google shares were down 0.80% at $633.26. Year to date, the stock is up over 18%, while over the last year, shares are up over 9%.