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Meta sued by a photo app for duplicating its major feature for Instagram.

Phhhoto has filed a lawsuit against Meta (previously Facebook) for allegedly cloning its Instagram features.

Meta sued by a photo app for duplicating its major feature for Instagram.

A defunct photo app has accused Facebook of allegedly stealing its feature for Instagram. Instagram's competitor has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Meta, then known as Facebook, for duplicating its functionality and putting the competition out of business. This isn't the first time Facebook has been charged with antitrust violations. Many times in the past, the social media firm has been accused of suffocating competition.

Users could create and share short GIF-like videos using the Phhhoto app, which allowed them to take five frames in a single point-and-shoot burst. Because of its resemblance to Instagram's highly popular Boomerang tool, we're familiar with this feature. It is today one of the most popular features, but it was not created by Facebook. Facebook allegedly stole Phhhoto's functionality for Instagram and marketed it as "Boomerang" to users, according to Phhhoto. According to The Verge, the company claimed that Facebook had prevented Phhhoto from using Instagram's API.

"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," Phhhoto said in the complaint filed in US District Court on Thursday.

The Phhhoto app was released in 2014, however it did not last long on the market. In 2017, the app was discontinued. In its early days, the app claimed to have 3.7 million monthly active users. Beyoncé, Joe Jonas, Chrissy Teigen, and Bella Hadid were among the app's users. According to the article, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, and Kevin Systrom, the former CEO of Instagram, downloaded the app and investigated its features.

"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," the lawsuit read.

Phhhoto is now suing Meta for monetary damages. The Verge reports that a Meta spokesman told The Verge that Phhhoto's complaint is without merit and that the firm will defend itself in court.

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