Google announced today that the company was adding two new features to its Messages app on the Android platform. These features are designed to sift through messaging platforms and avoid annoyances by confirming that you’re texting a real person.
Stopping Spam Messages
Spam Detection is one of these features, at least if you’re a US user. Back in January, the company first launched the feature to a select amount of countries. When the messages app picks up on a possible spam message, Google states that it will give the user a warning. In this warning, the user is capable of confirming whether or not the message is spam. The feature itself has turned on automatically, but users will be notified when that happens. Users will also be capable of reporting spam messages at any time, and are still capable of blocking the conversation should the spam messages refuse to stop.
If a user has the spam detection feature turned on, Google will temporarily store the applicable phone numbers of people who aren’t in your contact list. The feature does this in order to properly identify spammer numbers, and Google itself promises to keep the phone numbers anonymous and not associated with any user.
Verified Business System
Google is also making use of a Verified SMS feature when it comes to messages you send to certain businesses. With this, if a user messages a verified business, they’ll be capable of viewing the business’s name, the logo and a verification badge within the message thread. An important note is that messages will be verified per-message instead of per-number.
Google described that brands like Banco Bradesco, 1-800 Flowers, Payback, Kayak, and Sofi as being “among the first brands” that made use of the Verified SMS feature. The Google Identity Verification feature and the Google Pay feature will also be enrolled in this new program. The new Verified SMS features will “gradually” roll out within nine different countries. These countries are Canada, Brazil, France, Mexico, Philippines, India, the UK, Spain, and the US.
A Brief History
An amusing matter of note is how this all came to be: The Federal Communications Commissions had to vote about it. The vote was to reclassify text messages to an information service in a bid to tackle the rampant phone spam that’s been plaguing the service. The regulating body stated that the move was necessary to allow network carriers greater freedom in blocking unwanted messages. As one would expect, some criticisms came from the move. Consumer advocacy groups stated that it could allow the phone companies the power to discriminate against various messages.