Twitter Threatens to Sue Meta Over Threads App

Twitter Threads
Twitter accuses Meta of unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets. Public Domain

Twitter is considering legal action against Meta over its fast-growing rival app Threads which was launched on Wednesday.

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

Specifically, Spiro 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” that 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.”

Twitter’s Elon Musk said “competition is fine, cheating is not” – but Meta denied claims in a legal letter that ex-Twitter staff helped create Threads.

Competition is fine, cheating is not

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2023

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

Threads, which was launched to millions on Wednesday, is similar to Twitter and has been pitched by Meta bosses as a “friendly” alternative.

More than 30 million people have signed up for the new app, according to Meta.

Both Musk and Zuckerberg have acknowledged the rivalry over Threads, which is linked to Instagram but works as a standalone app.

As it launched in 100 countries, Zuckerberg broke more than 11 years of silence on Twitter to post a highly popular meme of two nearly identical Spider-Man figures pointing at each other, indicating a stand-off.

Shortly after, and as the word “Threads” trended globally on his platform, Musk said: “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”

How to sign up for and use Meta’s new Twitter competitor

Threads is now out for both iOS and Android, and downloading them should be straightforward. Its full name is “Threads, an Instagram app” and it is readily available on both platforms’ stores.

You can find the App Store listing for iPhone here, and the Play Store listing for Android phones here. You can of course also search for the word “Threads”, though other apps might appear.

There is some chance that clicking through to those listings might show that the app is not available. If so, that’s probably because it’s not available in your country; the app has not yet been launched in the EU, apparently because of data protection concerns related to the way that data will be passed between apps.

Meta has not yet announced when people in those countries will be able to get the app.

Sign in and set up Threads

Meta has built Threads to integrate with Instagram, and users can sign in with their existing accounts from that service.

Opening up the app should show a user’s existing Instagram account, alongside the option to choose a new one, and clicking that begins the process of getting started.

From there, users can customize their profile for Threads, choosing a name and adding a bio, or importing it from Instagram.

The app will then ask about privacy settings and ask whether you want to follow accounts from Instagram, before opening up and getting started.

Related: Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg Agree to Hold Cage Fight

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