A defunct photo app has accused Facebook of copying its feature for Instagram. Instagram’s competitor has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Meta, formerly known as Facebook, for copying its function and destroying competition. This isn’t Facebook’s first antitrust case. Many times, in the past, the social media company has been accused of limiting competition.
Users of the Phhhoto app could take five frames in a single point-and-shoot burst, as well as make and share short GIF-like videos. This feature is well-known due to its resemblance to Instagram’s massively famous Boomerang feature. It is today one of the most popular features, yet it was not developed by Facebook. According to Phhhoto, Facebook copied its feature for Instagram and marketed it to users as “Boomerang.” According to The Verge, the startup said that Facebook prevented Phhhoto from accessing 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. The app was decommissioned in 2017. 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 source, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and former Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom downloaded the app and tested its capabilities.