Defunct Phhhoto App is Suing Meta for Copying its Features for Instagram

Where there is Meta, there is trouble, or so it seems. The popular social media giant is now under fire for copying features for its Instagram application by defunct photo app Phhhoto.

The Instagram rival has filed an anti-trust suit against Meta (formerly Facebook) for cloning its features and subsequently eliminating the competition.

At the time of existence, the Phhhoto app would allow users to take five frames in a single point-and-shoot burst and create GIF-like videos, which is now available as Boomerang on Instagram.

What Does Phhhoto’s Court Filing Mention?


For those unaware, Boomerang is one of Instagram’s most used features, but it seems that it is not exactly Facebook’s idea, with Phhhoto alleging that Facebook copied the feature for its users. It also told the Verge that Facebook has blocked Phhhoto from the Instagram API.

The compliant filed on Thursday in the US District court mentions that “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,”

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In case you did not know, Phhhoto became popular in 2014, but failed to keep its head above the water, eventually shutting down in 2017. The app at the time said that it had 3.7 million monthly users, including the likes of Joe Jonas, Bella Hadid and Beyoncé.

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What Else Does the Lawsuit Against Meta Mention?


The report from the app mentions that former Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom and CEO Mark Zuckerberg downloaded the app and examined 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 adds.

It seems that Phhhoto wants monetary damages from Meta, with Meta mentioning to the Verge that the lawsuit lacks merit and the company will defend itself in court.

In other Facebook related news, according to reports, in the beta version of WhatsApp, the developers have removed  the word Facebook in the title in the application.

Thus, the phrase “WhatsApp from Facebook” displayed at the bottom of the download window has changed to “WhatsApp from Meta”. Along with this, the mention of Facebook disappeared from the settings menu.

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