Twitter threatens to sue Meta over ‘copycat’ Instagram Threads app, reports


An attorney for Twitter has accused Meta of misusing the company’s “trade secrets and other intellectual property” to create its Threads app, a rival to Twitter that the company says has drawn millions of sign-ups, Semafor reported Thursday.
Instagram's App To Rival Twitter, Threads, Set To Be Released Thursday

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Key Takeaways
  • In a letter dated Wednesday and published Thursday by Semafor, Twitter attorney Alex Spiro accuses Zuckerberg and his company of hiring dozens of former Twitter employees to create Threads “with the specific intent” of using their insider information to develop the app.
  • Spiro said many of the Meta-hired former employees “continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets” and have “improperly retained Twitter documents and electronic devices.” The letter demanded Meta immediately stop using any “Twitter trade secrets” and said Meta is “expressly prohibited” from scraping any of Twitter’s followers or following data.”
  • Spiro did not say whether the social media company will take legal action, but said “Twitter reserves all rights, including, but not limited to, the right to seek both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice.”
  • Andy Stone, communications director at Meta, posted that “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing.”
  • Musk responded to news of the letter Thursday afternoon, tweeting “Competition is fine, cheating is not,” and agreeing with another Twitter user that Threads is a “tapeworm.”
Key Background

Threads launched Thursday morning as Twitter continues to face backlash for changes to its platform, including enacting a temporary reading limit for Twitter accounts. Meta on Wednesday said the goal of Threads is to “take what Instagram does best and expand that to text.” Differences between the apps include that Threads is a mobile-only site, it does not offer a chronological timeline and, unlike Twitter, Threads does not allow users to search for specific content. Threads was trending on Twitter Thursday and has attracted several big-name users, including the Kardashians and Tom Brady

Big Number

$900 billion.That’s how high CFRA analyst Angelo Zino thinks Meta’s valuation could soar, partly because of the expectation Threads will “find success.” Meta currently has a market cap of just under $750 billion.

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