Facebook sued by Phhhoto app for copying its features for Instagram
Phhhoto has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Meta, formerly known as Facebook, for cloning its features and killing the competition. This is not the first antitrust case against Facebook. The social media company has been accused of stifling competition many times in the past. Phhhoto is now seeking monetary damages from Meta.
Facebook has been charged by a missing photo app for allegedly copying its feature for Instagram. Instagram's rival has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Meta, formerly known as Facebook, for cloning its function and killing the competition. This is not the first antitrust case against Facebook. The social media company has been accused of stifling competition many times in the past.
The Phhhoto application allowed users to capture five frames in a single point-and-shoot burst, create and share short GIF-like videos. We know this feature for its similarity to Instagram's very popular Boomerang feature. It is now one of the most used functions, but it is definitely not a Facebook creation. Phhhoto has alleged that Facebook copied its feature for Instagram and presented it to users as "Boomerang." The company alleged that Facebook blocked Phhhoto from the Instagram API, as per The Verge.
Phhhoto said in the complaint filed in the US District Court on Thursday, "The actions of Facebook and Instagram destroyed Phhhoto as a viable business and ruined the company's prospects for investment. Phhhoto failed as a direct result of Facebook's anticompetitive conduct. But for Facebook's conduct, Phhhoto was positioned to grow into a social networking giant, similar in size, scope, and shareholder value to other social networking and media companies with which Facebook did not interfere."
The Phhhoto app was launched in 2014, but it didn't survive long on the market. The app was closed in 2017. The app claimed it had 3.7 million monthly active users in the initial days. The app had users like Beyoncé, Joe Jonas, Chrissy Teigen, and Bella Hadid. The report claims that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, former Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom downloaded the app and examined its features.
The lawsuit read, "This revelation provided the first link between Facebook's earlier actions toward Phhhoto (here, cutting off API access) as part of an exclusionary scheme with the algorithmic suppression discovered in late 2017." Phhhoto is now seeking monetary damages from Meta. However, Meta's spokesperson has told The Verge that Phhhoto's lawsuit is unfounded and that the company will defend itself in court.