27 September 2023

How Instagram’s new app had more funds coming and going

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The mystery of who may have been behind Threads wasn’t that hard to work out for *Ian Krietzberg when he saw the most unhappy person with it: Elon Musk.

Meta launched its highly-anticipated Twitter rival Threads Thursday, gaining more than 30 million users on its currently ad-free platform as of Thursday morning, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

But amid praise of the potential “Twitter Killer” has come criticism, with many accusing the platform of simply copying and pasting Twitter’s layout.

That sentiment is one that X Corp., the company formerly known as Twitter, seems to agree with.

According to documents obtained by Semafor, Twitter sent Meta a cease-and-desist letter, accusing the social media giant of engaging in “systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property” in the company’s creation of Threads.

The letter goes on to explain that Meta has spent the past year hiring former Twitter employees and has used those employees to gain access to Twitter’s trade secrets in addition to other “highly confidential information.”

“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 complaint reads.

“Meta deliberately assigned these employees to develop, in a matter of months, 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.”

An unnamed Meta source told Semafor that the allegations are simply untrue.

“No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing,” the source said, something that was affirmed by a Meta spokesperson.

Criticisms that Meta’s Threads – which has gained plenty of high-profile users, including Mark Cuban – is a mere copy and paste of Twitter have abounded, with Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino tweeting that “We’re often imitated – but the Twitter community can never be duplicated.”

It’s a sentiment that Elon Musk agrees with.

The billionaire CEO, in response to a tweet about the cease-and-desist letter, said that “competition is fine, cheating is not.”

Quinn Emanuel trial lawyers, who filed the letter on behalf of Twitter, did not respond to The Street’s requests for comment.

Read the full letter here.

* Ian Krietzberg is a breaking/trending news writer for The Street with a focus on artificial intelligence and the markets. He has previously written for CNBC, Patch.com and Screen Rant, among others, and has been recognised with numerous journalism awards, including the ACES Editing Award.

This article first appeared in The Street

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