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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

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 7 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.