The ongoing rivalry between Meta and Twitter has got more intensified, as the latter is planning to take legal action over the “Threads” app.
For those unaware, Meta-owned Instagram recently rolled out “Threads”, a text-based microblogging platform to take on its rival, Twitter. The new app allows you to post up to 500 characters long, including links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length, similar to Twitter and others.
Meta claims that more than 30 million people have signed up for its new text-based app since its release on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, attorney Alex Spiro, who is acting on behalf of Twitter parent X Corp., sent a letter to Zuckerberg on Wednesday threatening to sue Meta for its Twitter “copycat” app, which was first reported by news outlet Semafor on Thursday.
“Twitter has serious concerns that Meta Platforms (“Meta”) has engaged in systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property,” states the letter.
Spiro has accused the Meta CEO of hiring dozens of former Twitter employees for the development of the Threads app over the past year. He says that these employees had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information.
Not just this, these employees owe ongoing obligations to Twitter; and many of these employees have wrongly retained Twitter documents and electronic devices.
“With that knowledge, Meta deliberately assigned these employees to develop, in a matter of months, Meta’s copycat “Threads” app with the specific intent that they use Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property in order to accelerate the development of Meta’s competing app, in violation of both state and federal law as well as those employees’ ongoing obligations to Twitter,” the letter reads.
The attorney has warned Meta to immediately cease using any of Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information and prohibited from engaging in any crawling or scraping of Twitter’s followers or its services.
Meta’s Communications Director, Andy Stone, has refuted Spiro’s claims that ex-Twitter staff helped create Threads. “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing,” Stone wrote on Threads.
While Musk hasn’t tweeted directly about the possibility of legal action, the Tesla chief wrote, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”
Competition is fine, cheating is not
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2023
Meanwhile, users can sign up for the Threads app with their Instagram profile. The app is now available for download in more than 100 countries on iOS and Android devices from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
You can also use the threads app on PC using our tutorial.