Twitter is not happy with Meta's latest app, Threads, and it is threatening to sue the social media giant for copying its features and design. Threads, which was launched by Meta this week, is an app that lets users create and join conversations on various topics, similar to Twitter's Spaces and the discontinued Fleets. However, Twitter claims that Threads is more than just a similar app, it is a blatant rip-off of its trademark and intellectual property rights.
In a letter sent to Meta, Twitter demanded that Meta stop using the Threads name and logo, which it says are confusingly similar to Twitter's. It also asked Meta to remove any features that resemble Twitter's, such as the ability to reply, quote, retweet, and like posts. Twitter said that it will take legal action to protect its brand and products if Meta does not comply with its demands. The letter, sent by Twitter's lawyer Alex Spiro to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerburg, stated in part:
“Over the past year, Meta has hired dozens of former Twitter employees. Twitter knows that these employees previously worked at Twitter; that these employees had and continue to have access to Twitter's trade secrets and other highly confidential information; that these employees owe ongoing obligations to Twitter; and that many of these employees have improperly retained Twitter documents and electronic devices.”
Meta has not responded to the letter, and has continued to market Threads as a new way to connect with people around shared interests. Threads is Meta's attempt to create “a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it,” as Mark Zuckerberg put it. Threads is integrated with Instagram, so users can see their Instagram followers and posts in the app. Additionally, Threads allows users to create private groups, which can be used for sharing photos, videos, and other content with a select group of people.
Twitter Says Meta is Not an Innovator
Twitter is not convinced by Meta's claims of innovation and originality. In its letter, Twitter also accused Meta of copying other platforms, such as Snapchat, TikTok, and Clubhouse, in its attempt to dominate the social media space. Twitter said that Meta has a history of “cloning popular features from competitors without adding any value or differentiation”. It cited examples such as Reels, Stories, Rooms, and Horizon, which are similar to products from other companies.
Twitter said that it is committed to creating new and unique ways for people to express themselves and engage with each other online. It said that it has invested heavily in developing its own products and that it will not tolerate any infringement or imitation of its work by Meta or anyone else. The letter added:
“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.”
Twitter's letter comes at a time when Meta is facing increased scrutiny and criticism from regulators, lawmakers, activists, and users over its practices and policies. Meta changed its name from Facebook in an effort to rebrand itself as a metaverse company. However, many have questioned whether the name change is enough to address the issues that plague the company, such as misinformation, hate speech, privacy breaches, and antitrust concerns.