Twitter Vs Meta’s Threads: The Strangling Of Innovation, Competition, And User Freedom – OpEd


The digital arena might host a high-stake legal battle as the social media’s behemoth Twitter squares off against Meta’s Threads app. As the world turns into a fast-paced technological hub, disputes over intellectual property are becoming a widespread appearance however the clash between the two social media giants is far from being an ordinary common skirmish as Twitter’s threat to sue Meta over its Threads app poses a serious challenge to innovation, competition, and user freedom in the social media landscape.

The two dominant social media platforms, Twitter and Meta (originally Facebook) have engaged in clashes over a variety of issues over the years. Their rivalry intensifies as both continue to contest for user attention and market dominance, resulting in the enhancement of services by launching new apps, features, and functionalities. One such app is Meta’s Threads which has become the heart of the ongoing conflict.

The debut of the micro-blogging app on July 5, 2023, was perceived as a significant threat by Twitter, claiming that its copyrighted features are being violated. It maintains that Meta’s Threads app replicates its unique user interface and design elements, confusing users and diluting Twitter’s brand. The app allegedly violates Twitter’s intellectual property rights because it replicates the threaded conversations functionality too closely.

Furthermore, on July 5 Meta received a letter from Twitter threatening a legal suit against Meta Platforms, claiming that Meta had exploited it to create its new social media app and asked Meta to stop utilizing its trade secrets and that Meta had employed several former Twitter employees and had deliberately put them to create a replica of Twitter. The allegation has been denied by Meta.

Against the backdrop of the Twitter v/s Meta showdown concerns have been raised in the tech world. Even though Twitter may have strong reasons for its actions its outcomes and influence on innovation, competition, and user freedom can not be neglected. Twitter’s threat of filing a lawsuit against Meta’s Threads app mirrors a concerning trend of the monopolization of the social media space. Twitter has a substantial market share already provided its status as one of the pioneers and top platforms in the industry, its goal to suppress competition and maintain its hegemonic position is made obvious by going after a young startup app like Threads. In addition to restricting user options, such conduct also impedes the development of innovative platforms that have the potential for offering distinctive features and experiences.

Moreover, there are also concerns regarding the impact of the dispute between Twitter and Meta on innovation. Start-up and smaller developers may be deterred from entering the market because of such legal challenges because they are concerned about facing costly legal battles and the responsibility of defending their intellectual property. The possibility of innovation being stifled hampers development and deprives users of new innovative platforms that might have emerged in a more cooperative setting. The prospect of the full potential of unique ideas may be unlocked through fostering collaboration, licensing agreements, or even acquisition conversations.

Additionally, the clash serves as a strong reminder of the significance of strong competition in the realm of social media networking as it has the potential of influencing healthy competition. By encouraging the introduction of new features, enhancing user interfaces, and offering a variety of options, competition fosters innovation and benefits users. The users have more options to select from, depending on their preferences and demands when several platforms compete for dominance. However, user choice is limited when potential competitors are put off from entering the market by legal battles.

Although Twitter’s threat of legal action against Meta’s Threads may represent an effort to safeguard its identity and preserve a constant user experience it stifles competition, restricts users’ ability to use alternative platforms, and exposes the struggle between platform control and embracing innovation. The dominant social media platforms should welcome competition in order to empower people and keep up with the rapid progress of technology. This will encourage platforms to continuously advance and adjust to changing needs, boosting innovation in addition to enhancing consumer choice. Hence, in order to guarantee a just and flourishing digital ecosystem for all users, the concerned regulators and stakeholders must take it upon themselves to ensure healthy competition, digital innovation, and user freedom by actively addressing these issues and displaying responsible conduct.

Shadab Jabbar

Shadab Jabbar is a Quetta-based undergraduate, final semester student of International Relations at the University of Baluchistan. She is an advocate of Human Rights and Environmental Security and is an executive member of the Human Rights Council of Pakistan, Baluchistan Wing. She aspires to advance in research and policy-making. Her areas of interest are Foreign Policy Analysis, Diplomacy, Strategic Studies, International Political Economy, National Security Policy, and Cyber Warfare.

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