About a year after he was kicked out of major social media platforms for using his account to instigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which resulted in the death of more than five Americans, former US president Donald Trump has launched his own social media – Truth Social.
Truth Social has been under development for months now, a push Trump is making to bolster his aim at the 2024 presidential election, which very much depends on his social media presence.
The platform was launched in Apple’s app Store late Sunday night, and was available to download shortly before midnight ET. It is only available in the United States now. A report said the app was automatically downloaded to Apple devices belonging to users who had pre-ordered it.
Trump has been seeking ways to return to social media after the ban cut off communication between him and his supporters. Early last year, Trump launched a website to substitute for his lost social media accounts, but it failed to gain patronage even from among his supporters. Truth, which has the backing of Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), is so far the biggest chance to potentially put the ex-president on social media’s center stage and according to him, rival Big Tech.
“I’m excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on Truth Social and to fight back against big tech, Trump said last year during the announcement.
The Truth Social operates under Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which was created through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. The group said it seeks to become a publicly listed company.
However, the launch of Truth does not guarantee that Trump will regain his famous social media presence as it requires millions of users to bring the platform to limelight. Former Republican U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, who leads the TMTG, is optimistic that the app will thrive, and has started urging people to download the app and sign up.
“This week we will begin to roll out on the Apple App Store. That’s going to be awesome, because we’re going to get so many more people that are going to be on the platform,” Nunes said in a Sunday appearance on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo”.
“Our goal is, I think we’re going to hit it, I think by the end of March we’re going to be fully operational at least within the United States,” he added.
Talking about the features of the app, Nunes said it will function for now without an edit button. He explained that there will be direct messages, or DMs, between users.
“The company is also considering allowing users to sign up to receive notifications when others post content,” the executive said, adding that there will always be block functionality in the app.
Nunes also explained that Truth Social will issue a policy on verified accounts “in the coming weeks.” These features, as explained by the executive, suggest that the app is a Republican version of Twitter.
TMTG, which raised $1 billion in December from private investors, is planning to list in New York through a merger with blank-check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp. and stands to receive $293 million in cash that DWAC holds in a trust, assuming no DWAC shareholder redeems their shares, according to TMTG’s Oct. 21 press release.