Twitter has threatened to sue Meta over its new messaging app Threads just hours after its release yesterday (July 6).
In a letter addressed to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a lawyer acting on behalf of Twitter, Alex Spiro, alleged that the company has “engaged in systemic, wilful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property”.
The letter further claimed that Meta had “hired dozens of former Twitter employees” within the past year, many of whom had access to “highly confidential information about the platform” and had “improperly retained Twitter documents and electronic devices”.
Meta had then deliberately assigned these employees to develop Twitter “copycat” Threads, “in violation of the directed these staffers with building Threads, in violation of both the state and federal law of the United States, the letter alleged.
Reacting to the news, Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter last year for US$44 billion, highlights the importance of fair competition, hinting that a substantial legal battle may be on the way.
However, Andy Stone, Meta’s communications director, has flatly denied these allegations. “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing,” he said on Threads.
Threads now has over 30 million users
The letter from Twitter comes as Threads accumulated more than 30 million users in under 24 hours since its launch, positioning itself as a formidable competitor to Elon Musk’s Twitter.
Within hours of the app’s launch, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Shakira were among the celebrities and media personalities to join the platform. With its current growth rate, Threads is poised to overtake OpenAI’s ChatGPT as the fastest-growing consumer app of all time.
Meta’s launch of the new app also coincides with a period of significant turbulence for Twitter.
Towards the end of last week, Musk announced a series of updates for the social media app, including a temporary restriction on the number of Tweets users could read per day, which garnered significant backlash.
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