Mark Zuckerberg’s strutting around the internet today, thanks to the early success of his Twitter-alternative Threads. But skip over to the official website of the product, and you’ll notice something odd.

Instead of the typical .com domain used by most major product launches, Threads opts for a .net address. That’s because was already taken, by a different sort of tech company, which is finding itself center spotlight without a lot of warning now.

The non-Meta Threads is a Slack competitor that focuses on the makers market. Founded in 2017, the six-person San Francisco-based company has raised a reported $10.5 million in funding. Give the company credit, though. It’s handling this surprise brand confusion with a sense of humor.

“Threads is a Slack replacement designed for makers,” its Twitter profile now reads (yep, it also owns the Threads Twitter account name). “Also, we have no affiliation with Meta. But you’re welcome to stick around! ????”

The company, on Wednesday, also posted the multiple Spider-Man meme to acknowledge the situation.

In a statement to Fast Company, cofounder and CEO Rousseau Kazi wrote, “Threads is a powerful word and an internet native term. Using threads—on various platforms—is the best way to stay connected with your [.net]work or [.com]pany. Given this, it comes as no surprise that Meta chose a powerful label to represent their take at building the town square.”

A company representative added that Meta did not formally contact the company prior to the launch of Threads.

Meta is hardly the only company to have launched a product without doing the due diligence of seeing if the domain name was already in use. (Or, of course, it could have simply not cared that it was.) Amazon, for instance, got an unexpected surprise in 2014 when it announced its Fire TV, only to learn that there was an existing adult entertainment video-on-demand site that used the domain.

Other, more famous unrelated brand twins include Dove soap and Dove chocolate, Finlandia vodka and Finlandia cheese, and Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets.

Any confusion that arises with Threads is likely to lean to Meta’s advantage, but with users trained to go to a .com web address, it could bring considerable awareness to Threads, the startup. And when you’re looking to compete with a company as established as Zoom, that’s not a bad thing.

Threads says it’s not upset with Meta over the confusion, which it acknowledges has increased traffic to its website. In fact, Kazi spent six years with Meta, specializing in product management from 2011 to 2017, before leaving to cofound Threads.

“I started my career at Meta and am genuinely bullish on the company,” Kazi said. “Zuck, Adam Mosseri, and the team are easily some of the best mentors and minds I’ve gotten to work with and learn from. I’m optimistic that Threads by Instagram will succeed, as it’s a type of product that is right in their wheelhouse. And just like we have been with Threads and, we’ll continue to focus on making it the best platform to connect and communicate at work. With plenty of runway, an exciting roadmap, and a team that I’m grateful to work with every day, I look forward to seeing what we continue to accomplish.”


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