clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Recode Daily: Facebook wants you to buy — and watch — HBO on Facebook

Plus: Apple expands to Austin, Texas; spam-scammers send thousands of bomb threats that result in evacuations nationwide; log on the fire fill me with desire ...

Cersei Lannister sits on the iron throne with her brother/lover Jaime standing beside her. HBO

Facebook wants you to buy HBO on Facebook and watch HBO on Facebook. In recent months, the world’s biggest social network has held talks with cable channels like HBO, Showtime and Starz about selling their TV services on Facebook. Consumers who subscribe to these channels through Facebook would also watch the streaming content on Facebook, most likely through its “Watch” hub. With this new initiative, Facebook is taking a page from the playbook of Amazon, which has been doing something similar for a few years. Facebook media execs want to launch the product in the first half of 2019. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

[Want to get the Recode Daily in your inbox? Subscribe here.]

Apple plans to build a 133-acre corporate campus in Austin, Texas, that will cost $1 billion and create about 15,000 new jobs. Apple also plans to open offices in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, Calif., adding more than 1,000 new employees in each location; over the next three years, it will also add hundreds of jobs in several cities, including New York and Boston. Skipping the Amazon-HQ2-style gimmicks — no reality-TV-style competition, no year-long publicity tour — Apple acted like a grown-up company in its plans to expand its workforce and extend its footprint beyond the West Coast. [Timothy W. Martin and Russell Gold / The Wall Street Journal]

Amazon officially killed the five-year Whole Foods-Instacart delivery partnership. Instacart will begin pulling the first group of 1,415 workers out of its 76 Whole Foods locations in February. The company expects to be able to offer 75 percent of those workers employment at another nearby retailer that partners with Instacart for deliveries. In the last year and a half, Instacart has reduced its dependence on Whole Foods by signing delivery deals with giant chains like Kroger, Aldi, Sam’s Club and Walmart Canada. Meanwhile, Postmates is building the autonomous delivery robot of the future — it’s called Serve, and it’s launching soon in Los Angeles. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]

Spam-scammers sent a wave of bomb threats worldwide, causing evacuations at businesses, schools, subways and other locations; the scammer demanded $20,000 to be deposited in a bitcoin wallet address in exchange for not detonating a supposed bomb. There’s no evidence of any actual explosives being placed or detonated, but the threats provoked evacuations and law enforcement investigations across the U.S., Canada and New Zealand. The ploy appears to be a steep escalation of a bitcoin blackmail tactic that took off this summer, in which victims received an email claiming that a hacker commandeered their webcam and would release the resulting photos publicly if the target didn’t pay a small amount in bitcoin; the scheme earned its perpetrators half a million dollars. [Adi Robertson / The Verge]

Here’s a detailed inside look at what it was like to work at Tesla as Model 3 manufacturing ramped up — and the company’s leader melted down. And here’s a Bird’s-eye view of the frenzied growth of the controversial e-scooter player Bird — which might be the fastest-growing company ever — including data that confirms the seductive math behind the Bird business. [Charles Duhigg / Wired]

YouTube removed more than a million and a half channels, all of the more than 50 million videos on them and 224 million comments during the third quarter because of violations of its policies. Government officials around the world have been pressuring social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook to quickly identify and remove extremist and violent content, and YouTube began issuing quarterly enforcement reports this year to demonstrate its commitment to policing its platform. Meanwhile, YouTube’s annual “Rewind” video recap of the year in YouTube culture quickly became the most-disliked video on the platform, with more than 10 million “dislikes,” overtaking Justin Bieber’s 2010 song “Baby.” [Paresh Dave / Reuters]

Top stories from Recode

Cryptocurrency suffers a black eye after a buzzy $130 million project crumbles. The failure of Basis is a reminder of why some Silicon Valley investors shied away from the crypto industry in the first place. [Theodore Schleifer]

This is cool

The painter of Texas fast-food-chain light.

Logs on the fire fill me with desire ...

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.