Google has announced that they will stop supporting Verified SMS and will deprecate the functionality. As a result, starting on January 1, 2023, Verified SMS will no longer work with Twilio. If you are currently using Verified SMS, you do not need to take any action. Any existing messages sent on senders that were verified will continue to be sent.
Today's consumers have access to more communication channels and receive more notifications (an average of 46 per day) than ever before. Among the legitimate and wanted communications they receive is a minefield of spam and spoofed messages and calls, making it hard for consumers and businesses to engage.
We're thrilled to be among the first providers partnering with Google for Verified SMS, bringing branded profiles and message verification to consumers using the Messages app on Android. Verified SMS empowers consumers to make informed decisions about the business communications they receive. It also enables businesses to deepen relationships with their consumers and boost engagement and conversions for their messaging campaigns.
Starting today, innovative Twilio customers like 1-800-Flowers.com, Cover, Expensify, MINDBODY, SoFi, and Stackin’ join the ranks of leading companies using Verified SMS to boost trust and improve engagement.
Our focus on delivering trusted communications
Even with all of the technological advancements in telecommunications, there’s still room for bad actors; just look at the number of unwanted phone calls, emails, and SMS messages you receive. Since Twilio was founded in 2008, we’ve worked to implement new trust and security features to improve the end-user experience and ensure the health of the communications ecosystem. Every communication should be both trusted and wanted. Features like Verified Calls and Advanced Opt-Out – both released earlier this year – and now Verified SMS by Google help bring our 7 million developers and 170,000 customers even closer to that goal.
That’s why Expensify, the world’s most widely-used receipt tracking and expense management app, implemented Verified SMS for their customer communications.
“We're focused on delivering time-saving, easy-to-use tools for Expensify customers whether they’re self-employed or work for Fortune 500 companies,” said Andrew Gable, lead mobile developer at Expensify. “Partnering with Twilio allows our team to focus on delivering seamless customer experiences, while Twilio takes care of the challenges of message delivery and gives us access to the newest innovations in customer communications.”
How Verified SMS by Google works
Using a Google SDK and the Messages app on Android, Twilio registers businesses and implements the backend technology to support this service through our Programmable Messaging API. There is no additional app to download for end-users, and they benefit from added confidence that the message received is from the specified sender. For enrolled businesses, implementation requires no additional engineering efforts and offers them a richly branded profile including the business name, description, and logo.
Promoting trust with every conversation
While many businesses invest heavily in web and print branding, there aren’t many options to extend that same valuable brand to critical customer communications. For the last few decades of messaging, businesses have relied on distinct toll-free numbers (like 1-800-CALL-TWLO), alphanumeric sender IDs, or short codes to help create a brand connection. Verified SMS goes one step further than a personalized sender ID by including the logo, business description, and logo with every Verified SMS.
Similarly, brands work hard to protect their hard-earned reputation, protecting logos or colors with trademark protections and emails with DMARC. With Verified SMS, each message sent by the brand is also verified using a shared secret to help end-users trust the source of a message. Verified messages are displayed with the brand’s logo and unverified messages are displayed with a question mark to help consumers make an educated decision on how to act.
Trust in messaging and the road ahead
Much as a “verified” checkmark on social media platforms has come to indicate a trusted business or organization, Verified SMS brings the same badging and verification to messaging. This feature is one step toward restoring trust in digital communications.
There’s more work to do, but as new technologies emerge, we want to ensure businesses are able to navigate the complexity of global regulations, independent operator and carrier registrations, onboarding, and engineering efforts. As your communications partner, Twilio reduces the complexity of sending authentic messages and placing trusted calls to help you focus on what you do best: engaging your customers.
Verified SMS is currently available by invitation only.