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Re/wind: Twitter Toys With Algorithms, Facebook's Big Indian Setback and More

Plus: Zenefits kicks out its founder.

Anthony Quintano for Re/code

One of Silicon Valley’s most highly valued startups showed its founder/CEO the door this past week, and Twitter gave a little more insight into what it plans to do with algorithms in user feeds. Here are the headlines that powered Re/code:

  1. Twitter’s earnings report was a mixed bag. The company’s business appears to be stable (for now), but it actually lost active users in the last quarter. Jack Dorsey says there are product changes coming, including efforts to work more algorithmic curation into users’ Twitter feeds. The company also has a shiny new video ad division, and it has started showing ads to VIP users again.
  2. Indian regulators have officially ruled against Facebook’s initiative to provide low-cost mobile Internet, saying that it discriminates against customers by only giving them access to Facebook-selected Internet services. Facebook board member Marc Andreessen offended virtually all of India by taking to Twitter and defending colonialism. Mark Zuckerberg quickly distanced himself from Andreessen’s remarks, and Andreessen apologized. Worth noting: India’s tech community is among’s key opponents in the country.
  3. $4.5 billion insurance startup Zenefits, after a series of BuzzFeed News reports that revealed significant legal problems at the company, kicked founder and CEO Parker Conrad out of his job and off its board. David Sacks, Zenefits COO and formerly of PayPal, was named his replacement.
  4. Three new podcasts: On “Re/code Decode,” Kara Swisher interviews Mike Cagney, CEO of the online lending company SoFi, and Peter Kafka talks with “The Jinx” director Andrew Jarecki about TV, crime and Jarecki’s new app. On “Too Embarrassed to Ask,” Kara discusses Twitter and Facebook algorithms with Kurt Wagner, and later talks with Y Combinator partner and Twitch founder Justin Kan.
  5. AT&T says that it’s going to start testing 5G mobile Internet in the United States this year, following Verizon’s pledge to do the same.
  6. HBO’s “Silicon Valley” returns in April. Here’s the first teaser trailer. It looks funny and mean and we are all quite excited for it.
  7. A report by two independent researchers says that Airbnb purged 1,000 New York City listings from the platform ahead of a data dump, presumably to make its figures look better to journalists and government officials.
  8. Yahoo began cutting 15 percent of its staff this week, as Marissa Mayer continues her struggle to turn the ailing tech giant around.
  9. Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who was never in a million years going to be president, dropped out of contention for the Republican nomination after a dismal showing in the New Hampshire primary.
  10. In Disney’s earnings call earlier this week, investors and analysts grilled execs mostly about ESPN, which Disney says is being killed and will also be saved by the same thing: So-called “skinny bundles.”

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