Twitter is threatening legal action against Meta over its new text-based platform, accusing the social media giant of poaching former employees to create a “copycat” application.
On Wednesday, July 5, Instagram parent company Meta introduced Threads, a text-based companion to Instagram that resembles Twitter and other text-based social platforms.
On Thursday, Zuckerberg announced that Threads had already signed up 30 million users in its first day, vastly dwarfing competitors.
Now, a lawyer for Twitter, Alex Spiro, has sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg accusing the company of engaging in “systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.”
“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,” Spiro wrote in a letter obtained exclusively by Semafor.
“Twitter reserves all rights, including, but not limited to, the right to seek both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice to prevent any further retention, disclosure, or use of its intellectual property by Meta.”
Spiro accused Meta of hiring dozens of former Twitter employees who “had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information.”
He also alleged that Meta assigned those employees to develop “Meta’s copycat ‘Threads’ app with the specific intent that they use Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property in order to accelerate the development of Meta’s competing app, in violation of both state and federal law as well as those employees’ ongoing obligations to Twitter.”
Responding to the letter, a Meta source told Semafor that Twitter’s accusations are baseless.
“No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing,” the source said.
Twitter’s letter is an early sign that Threads is the most serious rival yet to Musk’s platform.
Since Musk bought Twitter last year, the site has reduced user experience and also turned to a hub for right wing activity. Also Musk has gotten users upset by placing pricing on verification.