The letter, obtained by Semafor, claims that Meta used Twitter’s trade secrets and intellectual property to develop Threads, which launched on Wednesday and quickly gained popularity among Instagram users.
According to the letter, Meta hired dozens of former Twitter employees in the past year, some of whom had access to Twitter’s confidential information and documents. The letter alleges that Meta deliberately assigned these employees to work on Threads, with the intent of using Twitter’s secrets to accelerate the development of the 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 states.
Twitter has not yet filed a lawsuit against Meta, but it could do so if Meta does not comply with its demands. Meta has denied the allegations, saying that none of the engineers who worked on Threads were former Twitter employees. Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said on Threads “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing.”
Threads is a text-based conversation app that allows users to post short messages, reply to others, and join groups based on their interests. The app is linked to Instagram profiles, making it easy for users to sign up and find their friends.
Threads has been well received by users and critics, who praised its simplicity, design, and features. The app has already logged over 30 million sign-ups in its first two days.
Twitter, which was acquired by Elon Musk for $44 billion in February, has been facing increasing competition. The letter to Meta is seen as a sign of Twitter’s concern over losing its dominance in the microblogging space.