Photo: S3studio via Getty Images

Tech and telecom companies are pushing into the "rich messaging" arena, which allows upgrades over SMS texting such as video chat, high-resolution photo sharing and location sharing.

Why it matters: Companies and platforms are racing to build rich messaging services as people move communication with friends and family from open social platforms to encrypted messaging.

  • iMessage is currently considered one of the most widely-used rich messaging services. Social tech companies, like Facebook, Tencent, etc. own the bulk rich messaging app services around the world.
  • A push to compete with some of these platforms, and iMessage in particular, in rich messaging is coming from a consortium of mobile carriers, operating systems and manufacturers that have banded together to create an experience that works across carriers, devices and operating systems called RCS (Rich Communication Services) Messaging.

RCS Messaging takes features from a bunch of messaging platforms, like text, video cha and audio file sharing. It creates a seamless messaging system across devices, operating systems and wireless providers— (like Samsung, LG Electronics, and AT&T) — that could compete with the likes of iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WeChat or Whatsapp.

  • The goal is to use the mass reach of dozens of providers to eventually replace all standard text messaging with "rich" text messaging, that fosters far more engagement and advances mobile technology use.
  • Currently, there are 55 operators involved with the RCS push, with 167 million monthly active users.

The big picture: To give you a sense of how fast RCS is growing, the GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications Association) expects RCS to double in adoption to 350 million global monthly active users by next year, a size roughly comparable to that of Twitter.

Go deeper: How today's teens communicate.

Go deeper

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.