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Google Messages App Has A Serious Ads Problem In India: Here’s How You Can Fix It

By: S Aadeetya


Last Updated: May 19, 2022, 14:07 IST

Google Messages app users in India are getting these ads.

Google Messages app users in India are getting these ads.

Google Messages app got RCS service few years back that lets you send rich content like images and emojis via SMS to other users.

Google Messages is the default messaging (SMS) app on Android smartphones that comes pre-loaded for users. Over the past few years, Google introduced its Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging service which looks to compete with Apple’s iMessage in terms of features.

But the platform seems to have gone rogue in markets like India, where people are being flooded with spam messages from verified business accounts. Most of these ads are about pre-approved loans from banks or financing firms. RCS was supposed to help people to send SMS in rich form, which includes adding emojis, pictures and other multimedia items.

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Ads were never part of the plan, and consumers are clearly irked by its presence on the app. In general, these ads do not pose any danger, but the possibility of a person clicking on the links accidentally is high, which could put them in a precarious position with the firms offering these loans.

The other concern is that, according to reports, people are getting these ads even when the phone does not have a SIM installed/enabled on the device. Just to understand the gravity of the problem, we decided to independently verify the presence of ads on Google Messages.

As you can see below, these ads have been sent from verified business accounts, belonging to reputed firms like Kotak Bank and Bajaj Finserv among others.

Google Messages App shows ads
Google Messages app showing these ads

Now, if an attacker gets a whiff of this loophole, they can use it to infect the device with malware, and that’s the last thing Google wants on its plate regarding security. The problem of RCS ads seems to be limited to India, which is a good thing, but we are not if Google realises the problem.

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How To Stop Getting Ads On Google Messages App

Thankfully, there is a way to stop receiving these ads, and anybody can do it right away. Follow these steps to make it happen:

– Open the Google Messages App
– Tap on the Account Bubble on the top-right
– Click on Message Settings
– Go to Chat Features
– Disable the Chat Features option to stop receiving ads via Wi-Fi or mobile data

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We are hoping Google gets to the root of the problem and disables the ads on the Messages app for users in India.

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first published:May 19, 2022, 13:43 IST
last updated:May 19, 2022, 14:07 IST