The founders of Phhhoto filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook’s parent company, Meta.The suit accuses Facebook of cloning and then crushing the app.It “strung Phhhoto along” with the promise of a partnership that never materialized, the suit says.Get the latest tech trends & innovations — delivered daily to your inbox.Loading Something is loading.
In 2014, Champ Bennett, Omar Elsayed, and Russell Armand founded Phhhoto , which allowed users to take and post a short bust of photos that looped, similar to a GIF.
The Phhhoto founders said in the suit, which Insider reviewed, that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was an early user of their app, having downloaded it and posted on it in August 2014.
The lawsuit said other Facebook executives downloaded the app as well.
Facebook and Instagram then “embarked on a scheme to crush Phhhoto and drive it out of business,” in part by creating a “slavish clone” of the Phhhoto app, the suit said.
Meta did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.A Meta spokesperson, Joe Osborne, told The Times: “This suit is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”
The suit said Bryan Hurren, Facebook’s strategic-partnerships manager, got in touch with Phhhoto in February 2015 about a potential partnership that would integrate Phhhoto into Facebook Messenger.
Hurren said in an email that Phhhoto was “really awesome,” the suit said..