Instagram owner Meta's new text-based platform, Threads, has reported more than 30 million sign-ups since its launch on Thursday. With this high number, could Threads be the first real threat to Elon Musk's Twitter? Twitter has responded by threatening legal action against Threads.
On the new Threads app, people can post text and links as well as reply to or repost messages. A user's Threads account is linked to people's Instagram accounts, making it possible for them to import their existing followers list and account name from the latter platform. After the launch, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his official Threads account, “Feels like the beginning of something special, but we've got a lot of work ahead to build the app.”
Zuckerberg further commented on the need for a public conversation app with more than one billion people on it, which Twitter couldn't build. However, with Threads looking quite similar to Twitter, the Musk-owned platform, which has been facing plenty of criticism lately for drastic changes, has threatened to sue Threads. A letter sent to Zuckerberg by Twitter's lawyer Alex Spiro accused Meta of hiring former Twitter employees who “had and continue to have access to Twitter's trade secrets and other highly confidential information,” according to a Reuters report on the development.
"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 further wrote in the letter. Responding to a tweet about the legal action, Musk said, "Competition is fine, but cheating is not." Moreover, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said in a Threads post that no one from the Threads engineering team was a former Twitter employee, as reported by the Associated Press.
While the black-and-white Threads looks similar to Twitter because of the text-based updates, and repost features, it currently doesn't support direct messages or keyword searches. Notably, Threads is built on the same ActivityPub social-networking protocol as Mastodon and other decentralized social media apps. Acknowledging this, Mastodon Eugen Ruchko said in a blog post earlier this week that this is a clear victory for our cause, hopefully, one of many to come."
(With inputs from agencies)