In a recent development, Twitter, under the ownership of Elon Musk, has issued a legal threat to Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Instagram. This move comes in response to the launch of Threads, an app developed by Meta, which is seen as a direct competitor to Twitter.
Threads was designed with the intention of outperforming Twitter, which has been facing challenges recently. In a cease-and-desist letter sent to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Musk’s legal team accused Meta of unlawfully utilizing Twitter’s trade secrets and intellectual property. The letter further claimed that Meta had recruited several ex-Twitter employees who were privy to confidential information.
Musk took to Twitter to voice his reaction to the situation, stating, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.” Despite the emergence of other potential competitors, Threads is considered the most formidable rival to Twitter so far. The rivalry between Zuckerberg and Musk has intensified, even leading to the two billionaires agreeing to a cage match.
Zuckerberg’s first tweet in over ten years featured a Spiderman meme, highlighting the similarities between Threads and Twitter. Threads, which has been launched on Apple and Android app stores in 100 countries, has received early positive feedback for its resemblance to Twitter, albeit on a smaller scale.
Within hours of its release, Threads was downloaded by over 30 million people. High-profile individuals and media outlets have already established active accounts on the platform. Zuckerberg has expressed optimism about the app’s potential, aiming for it to become a public conversation platform with over a billion users.
While Twitter boasts over 200 million daily users, Threads aims to capture a significant portion of Instagram’s two billion monthly users. Meta hopes that celebrities, companies, and politicians will adopt Threads as their preferred platform.
Analysts suggest that Threads only needs a fraction of Instagram’s user base to rival Twitter’s size. The tumultuous state of Twitter under Musk’s leadership, characterized by minimal content moderation and sudden decisions, has provided Zuckerberg with an opportunity to capitalize.
However, Meta has faced criticism, especially in Europe, where its growth could be stunted. Concerns about data privacy and Meta’s handling of personal information have been raised. Regulatory uncertainties have delayed the company’s launch in the European Union. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) imposes strict rules on major internet companies, including restrictions on transferring user data between platforms like Threads and Instagram.