In a swift response to Meta’s launch of its Threads app, Twitter has issued a threat to sue the company. The move comes amidst allegations that Meta has recruited former Twitter employees to develop the new platform.
Threads, a text-based platform similar to Twitter, has garnered over 30 million sign-ups within 24 hours of its release. Shortly after the launch, Twitter’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, accusing the social media giant of unlawfully misappropriating Twitter’s trade secrets and intellectual property.
The letter, shared online by Semafor, stated, “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 reserves all rights, including legal remedies and injunctive relief, to prevent any further use or disclosure of its intellectual property by Meta.”
Spiro further alleged that Meta hired several former Twitter employees who had access to Twitter’s trade secrets and confidential information. These employees were supposedly tasked with developing a copycat app, utilizing Twitter’s intellectual property, in violation of state and federal laws and their ongoing obligations to Twitter.
In response, Meta’s communications director, Andy Stone, addressed Twitter’s claims in a Threads post, stating, “To be clear: No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee—that’s just not a thing.”
Threads joins the ranks of Twitter competitors that gained momentum under Elon Musk’s leadership at Twitter. However, Twitter’s swift action against Threads signifies it as the most prominent rival.
While Musk has remained silent on Threads’ launch thus far, he tweeted support for Spiro’s claims, asserting that “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”
Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino also took a jab at the new platform, tweeting, “Twitter is often imitated—but the Twitter community can never be duplicated.”
Coinciding with Threads’ launch, Zuckerberg made his first tweet in a decade, sharing a Spider-Man meme that humorously highlighted the platform’s resemblance to Twitter.
Amidst Twitter’s controversial decisions, the demand for alternative platforms has surged. Mastodon and Bluesky have gained attention, but none have matched the rapid adoption rate of Threads.
Threads is currently available on iOS and Android in 100 countries, excluding the EU due to concerns about complying with local data privacy regulations. To access Threads, users must authenticate using their existing Instagram login credentials, after which the app populates with their account details, including name, username, photo, and followers.