So, it’s just been over two days since Meta launched a Twitter copycat app called Threads, and has already crossed the 50 million user mark. It’s as shameless as rip-offs go. Elon Musk, the Lord of Twitter, knows that all too well. And he wants to drag Meta to a courtroom for it.
All of this is frikkin poetic, actually. Musk is no fan of Zuckerberg, and his Meta empire. But now, Meta is hitting too close to home for Musk, and there’s a stumbling empire worth $44 billion at stake for our Tesla Man. Semafor was the first to report Twitter's legal notice against Meta.
Look, I won’t mince words. Threads has blatantly copied the same likes, reposts, comments, and sharing formula as Twitter. The only difference is that Threads doesn’t require you to create a new account, as the app is built atop Instagram and automatically signs you up from the Instagram account.
Musk, who is failing BAD at running Twitter, is incensed at Meta for this competitive dickhead behavior. So, his legal bullet Alex Spiro sent a letter to Meta. It accuses Meta of hiring Twitter employees — the same employees that Twitter ruthlessly fired months ago — so that it can use their secret knowledge and skills.
Twitter says Meta infringed on intellectual property and used former employees to extract confidential information so that it can be used to build Twitter clone. Meta’s extremely rude spokesperson Andy Stone clarified — on Threads — that no former Twitter employee was a part of the Threads team.
"Karma comes for Meta's ass, finally?"
But that defense likely won’t stop Twitter. The company has told Meta to be ready with all the paperwork, especially the hiring documents for former Twitter employees. But threatening a lawsuit, and actually winning the case, are different things.
Twitter can’t simply cry corporate tears in court that Meta created an app that looks like its own. That’s how competition works, for better or worse. Meta has done this before. A LOT. Meta is known for a rather brutal competition policy.
"If you can’t buy it, copy it."
Meta copied the Stories formula from Snapchat. It mimicked Twitch to launch Facebook gaming. Periscope was shamelessly imitated to birth Instagram Live. Tinder proved to be an inspiration for Facebook Dating.
Other times, Mark Zuckerberg simply pulled out a few billion dollars from his wallet and bought smaller, but growing companies, like Instagram and WhatsApp.
In order to win, Twitter will have to actually prove that Meta stole its employees with the explicit intention of using their knowledge of confidential Twitter information so that it can be used to develop a Twitter rival. That’s corporate malpractice 101, and it violates antitrust, labor, as well as pricey intellectual property laws.
But doing so is easier said than done. The lawsuit — assuming it is actually filed before a court — could be a long battle. Meta would also fight tooth and nail for it, of course. I just wish, that instead of a boring court drama, Musk and Zuckerberg settle it with a cage fight.
If your secret kink is reading legal letters – you monster – here's the notice Twitter sent to Meta: