Twitter has threatened to sue Meta Platforms over its new Threads app, news website Semafor has reported, citing a letter sent to the Facebook parent’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Twitter’s lawyer Alex Spiro.
Meta, which launched Threads on Wednesday and has logged more than 30 million sign-ups, looks to take on Elon Musk’s Twitter by taking advantage of Instagram’s billions of users.
Twitter has serious concerns that Meta has engaged in “systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property,” Spiro wrote in the letter.
“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.
Spiro, in his letter, accused Meta of hiring former Twitter employees who “had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information”, the Semafor report that was published on Thursday said.
“No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee that’s just not a thing,” Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said in a Threads post.
A former senior Twitter employee told Reuters they were not aware of any former staffers working on Threads, nor any senior personnel who landed at Meta at all.
Meanwhile, Twitter owner Musk said, “Competition is fine, cheating is not,” in response to a tweet citing the news.
Since Musk’s takeover of the social media platform in October 2022, Twitter has seen competition from Mastodon and Bluesky, among others. Threads’s user interface, however, has a striking resemblance to the microblogging platform.
Still, Threads does not support keyword searches or direct messages.