Truth Social, Donald Trump’s new social media app, has debuted on Apple’s App Store, marking the former president’s return to social media after being barred from many platforms last year.
The app became available for download shortly before midnight Eastern time, and it was instantly downloaded to Apple users who had pre-ordered it. Some users reported experiencing difficulty registering for an account or being placed on a queue with the phrase “Due to massive demand, we have placed you on our waitlist.”
According to Reuters, the software has been made available to those who have been invited to use it during its testing period. Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube following his supporters’ January 2021 attack on the US Capitol, after he was accused of tweeting statements inciting violence.
Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), the venture behind Truth Social, is led by former Republican US congressman Devin Nunes. It joins a growing portfolio of technology companies that are positioning themselves as champions of free speech and hope to attract users who feel their views are suppressed on more established platforms.
So yet, none of the younger companies, which include Twitter competitors Gettr and Parler, as well as the video site Rumble, have come close to matching the mainstream counterparts’ popularity.
“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 during a Sunday appearance on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.
The initial public version of Truth Social, or version 1.0, was available a day ago, according to the app store page showing its version history, verifying a Reuters report. According to the page, the latest version 1.0.1 offers “bug fixes.”
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Nunes was on the app on Friday asking users to follow more accounts, share photographs and videos, and join in conversations in an apparent attempt to increase activity.
According to the same source, among his posts, he greeted a new member who seemed to be a Catholic priest and encouraged him to bring more priests to join. Even as information about the app begin to emerge, TMTG remains primarily cloaked in secret and is viewed with scepticism by those in the tech and media sectors. It is unclear, for example, how the corporation plans to support its expansion.
TMTG intends to list in New York through a merger with blank-check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC) and stands to gain $293 million in cash held in trust by DWAC, if no DWAC shareholder redeems their shares, according to a press release issued last year.
Furthermore, TMTG obtained $1 billion in committed funding from private investors in December; this money, too, will not be available until the DWAC transaction is completed.
According to a regulatory filing, Digital World’s operations have drawn the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the transaction is expected to take months to complete.