Twitter is threatening to sue Meta and CEO Mark Zuckerberg over its supposed “copycat” Threads app. In the midst of Elon Musk’s new rules involving Twitter users being temporarily limited to viewing a number of tweets per day, several Twitter users expressed their disappointment and anger about the restrictions, leading many to start migrating over to Meta’s rival Threads app which offers a similar browsing experience.
According to Semafor, Twitter lawyer (and also Elon Musk’s personal lawyer) Alex Spiro recently sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg arguing that Meta used Twitter’s trade secrets and intellectual property to build its Threads app. Spiro, who is partnered at the Quinn Emanuel law firm, claims that Meta hired dozens of ex-Twitter employees to build Threads. Given that Musk fired thousands of employees following his takeover of Twitter, it makes sense that their expertise would potentially be absorbed into Meta.
However, Spiro argues that several of those former employees were actually privy to Twitter’s trade secrets as well as other confidential information. Twitter claims that Meta “took advantage” of ex-Twitter employees’ knowledge and used it to build the “copycat” Threads app that’s “in violation of both state and federal law.”
Meta communications director Andy Stone responded to these allegations in a Threads post shortly after, stating, “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing.” If this information is accurate then Meta shouldn’t be too concerned by Twitter’s lawsuit as it will have no evidence to support its case apart from some guesswork and shots in the dark.
Threads recently started gaining traction with many disgruntled Twitter users migrating over to Meta’s new app, which operates similarly to Twitter in some aspects. Since Threads was launched this week – with celebrities, well-known figures and brands being the first to hop on board – it had gained over 50 million sign-ups in that short time. If the app continues to grow, it’s easy to see why Twitter might feel threatened by the competition, especially with many users growing more and more dissatisfied with Musk’s handling of the platform.
We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.