🌍 Facebook is Meta

So meta.

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Here’s what you need to know

Facebook changed its company name to Meta. The rebrand reflects Facebook’s growing interest in virtual reality. At the same time, the company’s global chief of safety insisted to UK lawmakers that its social media algorithms don’t augment hate and even downplay it.

Joe Biden’s spending plan makes the biggest climate investment in US history. The US president’s proposed bill includes $555 billion in incentives, tax breaks, and investments into clean energy. Meanwhile, testifying before Congress, oil executives denied misleading the public about climate change.

Sony and TSMC may be teaming up. A new factory in Japan would be a joint effort between the electronics brand, which needs chips, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which makes most of them.

Taiwan confirmed the presence of US military. The troops are there to train Taiwanese forces, said president Tsai Ing-wen, which deepens tension between the US and China.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund is making its first investment in a Japanese company. Biotech startup Aculys Pharma represents SoftBank Group’s efforts to add more countries to its roster.

Moscow partially locked down. Russia, which has a relatively low vaccination rate, has been consistently breaking daily records for covid deaths.

What to watch for

An estimated 30,000 people will descend on Glasgow on Nov. 1 for COP26. These UN climate summits happen every year, but COP26 is special because it marks the first five-year interval post-Paris Agreement, a deadline for countries to demonstrate tangible progress.

It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of climate jargon and economics, but only a few numbers really matter.

2.6-2.8°C: Trajectory of global warming above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement aims for 1.5°C

0: Net global emissions by 2050 to avert catastrophic warming

195: Nations that signed the 2015 Paris Agreement in 2015

216 million: People in developing countries who will be displaced because of climate change by 2050

120: World leaders expected to attend COP26

600+: Days since Chinese president Xi Jinping last left the country; it’s unlikely he’ll attend COP26

To follow the action from Glasgow, sign up for our Need to Know: COP26 newsletter.


It’s a Netflix-YouTube showdown

Netflix isn’t streaming COP26 (though it did centralize its climate content with help from summit organizers). But when it comes to streaming, Netflix is facing a quiet competitor: Alphabet’s YouTube Premium, which has gradually transformed its old-school social media platform into an unlikely but legitimate rival.

For revenue, in the most recent quarter,

🎬 Netflix recorded $7.4 billion, while

▶️ YouTube recorded $7.2 billion on ads.

While viewers spend 26% of their TV time streaming,

🎬 Netflix accounts for 6% of that, and

▶️ YouTube also accounts for 6%.

For global subscribers,

🎬 Netflix has more than 210 million, while

▶️ YouTube Premium has 50 million.

One last thing: Netflix is the hands-down winner with regard to producing original content. YouTube has largely pulled back from its previous strategy of producing big budget, paywalled scripted original series—and it’s working.


Is Zillow a problem?

If you’re going to spend 26% of your time streaming, you may be looking for a new house where you can comfortably sit back and press play. After taking a hit at the onset of the pandemic, the iBuyer market (made up of real estate companies that buy and sell homes online) is now red hot: Industry leader Opendoor has made the strongest recovery, followed by Zillow.

ibuyers-are-a-growing-market

But Zillow put those house-buying plans on pause on Oct. 19, citing too many projects. The development exacerbated a larger anxiety: As the US contends with a 6.8 million unit housing shortage and skyrocketing home prices… is Zillow part of the problem?

Zillow’s effect on US real estate (and some of its quirker listings 🍄) were the topic of our latest Company email. ✦ Each week, it gives Quartz members a deeper looks into the companies that are changing business. Sign up today and take 40% off with code QZEMAIL40.

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📡 Your cell phone will become a satellite phone, and you won’t even notice

🚙 Singapore is snapping up Teslas that cost three times as much as in the US

💵 The $22 trillion US Treasury bond market is bracing for a jump in inflation

♻️ Net zero is a booming business for consulting firms

💊 This startup is trying to digitize Africa’s pharmaceutical supply chain

👾 Meme-stock mania is fading on Reddit and Robinhood

Surprising discoveries

How big do ferris wheels need to be? The London Eye wasn’t big enough, apparently—Dubai’s new attraction is nearly twice the height.

A&W is pushing a 3/9 pound burger. It’s a nod to a 1980s marketing campaign that famously backfired because Americans are bad at math.

AI could help us talk to whales. At least, that’s the hope of one scientist.

A new DNA technique proved Sitting Bull’s great-grandson is who he says he is. The descendant of the famous Native American was tired of being challenged on his claim.

Crypto investors are buying NFTs of a big cube of tungsten. Owning one grants you the dubious honor of being allowed to touch it once a year.



Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, timeshares of hunks of metal, and whale icebreakers to hi@qz.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Camille Squires, Lila MacLellan, Adario Strange, Susan Howson, Liz Webber, and Morgan Haefner.