Allegations Fly as Twitter Confronts Meta Over New “Threads” App


Following the explosive debut of the Threads app, which secured over a million followers shortly after its launch, Twitter is preparing for a legal battle with Meta Platforms. The controversy revolves around the accusation that Meta’s new offering closely mimics Twitter’s features, igniting a fiery dispute over intellectual property. As the courtroom drama unfolds, it’s anyone’s guess who will prevail in the looming legal showdown between Twitter and Meta Threads.

The Core of Twitter’s Grievances Against Meta Threads

Meta Threads’ preview on Apple’s App Store generated a staggering 30 million sign-ups, signaling a direct challenge to the Twitter platform under Elon Musk’s leadership. With Instagram’s vast user base at its disposal, Meta Platforms appears to be capitalizing on its existing social media empire.

An influx of early adopters, including high-profile individuals and brands, contributed to the creation of over 95 million threads within the first day of the app’s rollout.

Twitter’s lawsuit emphasizes the severity of plagiarism as a legal offense. Legal correspondence from Twitter’s attorney, Alex Spiro, points an accusatory finger at Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, suggesting that Meta has quasi-recruited former Twitter employees familiar with Twitter’s confidential practices to replicate the core functionality in the Meta Threads app.

“Twitter does not take the misuse of its intellectual property lightly and insists Meta cease any unauthorized use of Twitter’s confidential information and trade secrets immediately.”

It is worth noting that Spiro also represents Elon Musk in his personal legal affairs. 

In addition to Threads, Zuckerberg’s Meta also oversees large-scale platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Twitter has faced significant upheaval since Elon Musk’s takeover in October 2022, as Musk made sweeping changes and downsized the workforce, drawing criticism for his monetization strategies that could potentially alienate Twitter’s dedicated user base. 

Meta, alongside other hopefuls such as Bluesky, Mastodon, Tumblr, Spill, and Nostr, seeks a slice of Twitter’s market, particularly as Twitter’s fortunes waver. Meta Threads, with its uncanny resemblance to Twitter’s user interface, is now at the forefront of this competition.—although it lacks Twitter’s direct messaging and keyword search features. 

Twitter’s Legal Threat to Meta Threads: A Genuine Concern or a Bluff?

Twitter alleges that Meta’s development of Threads, a “copycat” app, entails a grave legal transgression involving the employment of insiders privy to Twitter’s secrets. Twitter’s legal stance stresses prohibitions against misusing its data and intellectual property.

In response, Meta has not only dismissed these allegations but also addressed them directly through a post on Threads, as confirmed by Meta’s communications chief Andy Stone.

“The Threads engineering team does not include former Twitter staff – this accusation is simply inaccurate.”

Experts in intellectual property law highlight that an assertion of trade secret misappropriation requires more than just an allegation that confidential information has been copied. The plaintiff must show that robust measures were in place to guard their secrets and that these were subverted in any infringement case. 

Previously, Musk publicly denounced Microsoft for purportedly harnessing Twitter’s API without consent to enhance its OpenAI model. This came after Microsoft renounced the use of Twitter’s advertising services. 

Ironically, Twitter’s own internal struggles, including the imposition of limits on tweet visibility tied to verification status, have stirred discontent among its users, adding to the platform’s tensions. 

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