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In a surprising turn of events, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is facing legal challenges from Twitter just one day after the release of its Threads app. Alex Spiro, the attorney representing Elon Musk, has sent a stern letter to Meta, alleging the app to be a “copycat” version of Twitter’s platform.
Spiro claims that Meta has also employed former Twitter employees to develop the app, citing potential misuse of trade secrets and confidential information. The contents of the letter were obtained by the online publication Semafor.
Spiro’s letter, directed to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asserts that Twitter will vigorously protect its intellectual property rights and demands immediate action from Meta to cease using any Twitter trade secrets or highly confidential information. Additionally, the lawyer warns Meta against engaging in data scraping activities from Twitter.
“Twitter intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights and demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information,” Twitter wrote in its letter.
Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, responded to the recent news by expressing his support for healthy competition while strongly condemning any form of cheating.
In a tweet responding to an article on the matter, Musk stated, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”
The accusation of Meta intentionally hiring ex-Twitter employees to create a similar app was a notable point in the letter. Spiro claimed these former employees still have access to Twitter’s “highly confidential information.” However, Meta has denied these allegations, stating that no member of the Threads engineering team has previously worked at Twitter.
“No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee,” Andy Stone, Meta communications director, posted on Threads. “That’s just not a thing.”
Despite the legal dispute, the Threads app has been successful since its launch. Within 24 hours, the app has garnered over 50 million sign-ups, undoubtedly raising concerns for Musk and Twitter. The timing of Twitter’s legal action suggests an underlying anxiety within the company.
Threads combines features from Instagram and Twitter, allowing users to share photos and videos up to five minutes in length. The app is available for iOS and Android users through app stores. Additionally, Threads can be accessed via the desktop site, providing users with a seamless experience across platforms.
Threads, however, currently falls short regarding features commonly found on other platforms. Users have noted the absence of essential functionalities like a chronological feed and the capability to send private messages (DMs).
Additionally, the closely intertwined nature of Threads and Instagram is highlighted in the company’s support documents, stating that deleting your Threads account also necessitates deleting your Instagram account. These observations underscore the need for further development and improvements within the platform to align with user expectations.