Twitter to sue Meta over ‘copycat’ Threads app


Elon Musk’s Twitter has threatened to sue Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta over rival app Threads which has been described as a Twitter “copycat”.

Threads was launched on Wednesday and Meta chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg says the app has attracted over 30 million users.

He added that it is a “friendly” alternative to Twitter which has 260 million monthly users.

Twitter attorney Alex Spiro has sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg which accuses Meta of “systematic, wilful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property” to create Threads.

Spiro also alleged that Meta had hired dozens of former Twitter employees who “had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information”.

He added that the workers ultimately helped Meta develop what he termed the “copycat” Threads app.

“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,” the letter says.

“Twitter reserves all rights, including, but not limited to, the right to seek both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice.”

Responding to a post on Twitter, Musk said that “competition is fine, cheating is not.”

However, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone posted that “no one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee – that’s just not a thing”.

The BBC reported that Threads and Twitter compare in various aspects with threads allowing posts of 500 characters compared with Twitter’s 280, and 5 minute videos compared with 2min 20 secs.

“Both allow links, photos, and deleting posts but Twitter allows direct messaging, shows trending stories, and uses hashtags which Threads doesn’t. Threads has verification but it is one of the services that you have to pay to access on Twitter, along with longer posts and videos and an editing function,” the BBC reported.