Donald Trump’s new social media venture, Truth Social, looks set to launch on Apple’s App Store on Monday, according to reports from an executive.
Donald Trump’s new social media venture, Truth Social, looks set to launch on Apple’s App Store on Monday, according to an executive’s reports of a test version previewed by Reuters, which may mark the former president’s return to social media. on the American presidents. Day vacation. In a series of posts late Friday, a verified account for the network’s chief product officer, listed as Billy B., answered questions about the app from people invited to use it during the testing phase. A user asked him when the app, which is available to beta testers this week, would be released to the public, according to screenshots viewed by Reuters.
“We are currently set for release on the Apple App Store for Monday, February 21,” the executive said.
The launch would restore Trump’s social media presence more than a year after he was banned from Twitter Inc, Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube following the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters after he was accused of posting messages inciting violence.
On February 15, Trump’s eldest son Donald Jr. on Twitter a screenshot of his father’s verified @realDonaldTrump Truth Social account with one message, or “truth,” which he uploaded on Feb. 14: “Get Ready! Your Favorite President Will See You Soon!”
Led by former Republican US Representative Devin Nunes, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), the company behind Truth Social, will join a growing portfolio of tech companies that position themselves as champions of free speech and hope to attract users. who feel their opinions are being suppressed on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. So far, none of the companies, including Twitter competitors Gettr and Parler and video site Rumble, have come close to the popularity of their mainstream counterparts.
In addition to the message revealing Monday’s launch date, screenshots seen by Reuters show that the app is now at version 1.0, suggesting it has reached a level ready for public release. It wasn’t up to version 0.9 until Wednesday, according to two people with access to that version.
A TMTG representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple’s App Store listing indicates that Truth Social is expected to be released on February 21, a date a source familiar with the company confirmed in January. But in recent weeks, Nunes had publicly said the app would launch in late March.
On Friday, Nunes was in the app urging users to follow more accounts, share photos and videos, and engage in conversations in an apparent effort to ramp up activity, an expert said.
Among Nunes’ posts, he welcomed a new user who appeared to be a Catholic priest and encouraged him to invite more priests, according to the person with knowledge of the matter.
NO WAY TO EDIT ‘TRUTHS’
The chief product officer’s other responses during Friday’s question-and-answer session suggested the startup’s features would resemble those of Twitter.
When asked if users could edit their ‘truths’, the director replied ‘not yet’. The ability to edit posts after publishing has been something Twitter users have been looking for for a long time.
The next major feature to be released on the platform will be direct messages or DMs between users, the director wrote.
The company is also considering allowing users to sign up to receive notifications when others post content, the director said. He signaled that the ability to block other users would be an important part.
“There will always be blocking functionality in the app,” he wrote.
Truth Social will issue a policy for verified accounts “in the coming weeks,” the director added.
Even as details of the app begin to trickle in, TMTG remains largely shrouded in secrecy and is viewed with skepticism by some in tech and media circles. For example, it’s unclear how the company is financing its current growth.
TMTG plans to list in New York through a merger with blank check company Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC), and will receive $293 million in cash that DWAC holds in a trust, assuming no DWAC shareholder buys back their shares TMTG said in an Oct. 21 press release.
In addition, TMTG raised $1 billion in committed funding from private investors in December; that money will also not be available until the DWAC deal closes.
Digital World’s operations have been investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, according to a regulatory filing, and the deal will likely be months away from closing.