Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
5 mins ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.

Mike Allen, author of AM
37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.