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Everyone thinks of Facebook as a social media behemoth, but they're actually much more dominant in messaging and ready to start making money on it. The company announced last week ads on Facebook Messenger globally. Reports are also out that Facebook is hiring talent to "lead product development on our monetization efforts" for WhatsApp, a messaging app popular in Europe that Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion.

Why it matters: People use messaging apps more than social media apps and Facebook owns an overwhelming majority of that market. (Facebook-owned WhatsApp is the number one messaging app in 107 countries around the world, and Facebook's Messenger is number one in 58 countries, according to a SimilarWeb study.)

Expand chart

Data: eMarketer, Line, Tencent, pymnts.com; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Facebook is reportedly building a standalone app that "incorporates ideas" from Houseparty, the video chatting app that's a huge hit amongst Gen Z, and they've been able to curb Snapchat's user growth by adopting Snapchat-like features on Facebook and Instagram.

U.S. competition: Last week it was reported that Amazon is also working on stand-alone messaging app called Anytime, that would rival Facebook's Messenger via a connected desktop and mobile experience.

Global competition: Chinese tech Giant Tencent has an effective monopoly over the Chinese messaging market via its popular app, WeChat and it looks like it's going to stay that way. Last week China blocked most WhatsApp services, like photo, video and voice messages, within the country.

Go Deeper: The Washington Post's Head of Commercial Product and Technology Jarrod Dicker writes for Medium: How We Should Be Thinking About Advertising In Bot and Messenger Apps

Go deeper

Top economic regulators stressed by vacancies

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The boom times are all around us (from corporate deal sprees to the breakneck rise of cryptocurrency) — and the agencies in charge are stretched thin trying to police it.

Why it matters: Overwhelmed staff and a slew of vacant posts could set back President Biden's big regulatory agenda.

GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley announces run for re-election

Photo: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the longest-serving Senate Republican, announced on Friday that he's running for re-election in 2022.

Why it matters: The GOP is looking to regain control of both chambers of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections. Several Republicans had urged the 88-year-old senator to run to avoid another retirement after five incumbent senators said they wouldn't seek re-election.

China deems all cryptocurrency transactions illegal

A person walking past China's central bank in Beijing in August 2007. Photo: Teh Eng Koon/AFP via Getty Images

China's central bank declared on Friday that all cryptocurrencies are illegal, banning crypto-related transactions and cryptocurrency mining, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: China's government is now following through with its goal of cracking down on unofficial virtual currencies, which it has said are a financial, social and national security risk and a contributor to global warming.