Former US President Donald Trump’s new media venture plans to launch its Truth Social social media app on February 21, according to a listing in the Apple App Store.
Truth Social, Trump Media & Technology Group’s (TMTG) alternative to Twitter, is available for pre-order before airing on US Presidents Day holiday.
Similar to Twitter, the app offers features to follow others and trending topics, according to demo photos. Your message equivalent to a tweet will be dubbed “true”.
The app’s launch would come 13 months after Meta Platforms’ Facebook and Twitter banned Trump for encouraging his supporters to participate in the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol based on baseless allegations of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Marking the one-year anniversary of the attack, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that his predecessor’s false allegations could unravel the rule of law and subvert future elections.
TMTG and Apple did not respond to requests for comment, but a source familiar with the matter confirmed that February 21 is the app’s planned release date.
The release is expected to be the first of three stages in TMTG’s development. The second would be a video-on-demand subscription service called TMTG+ with entertainment, news and podcasts, according to the company’s website. A presentation to investors in November indicated that TMTG also wants to launch a podcast network.
TMTG is valued at $5.3 billion (approximately Rs. 39,430 crore) based on the share price of Digital World Acquisition, which rose 20% after Reuters reported application listing on the App Store. TMTG agreed in October to merge with the blank check firm for a valuation of $875 million (approximately Rs. 6,510 crore).
Trump supporters and retail investors bought shares in Digital World, betting that Trump’s popularity with his Republican political base will translate into runaway commercial success.
The blank check purchase agreement faces regulatory risk. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler last month to investigate the planned merger for possible violations of securities laws surrounding the disclosure. The SEC declined to comment on whether it plans any action.
TMTG last month raised another $1 billion (approximately Rs. 7,440 crore) from private investors.
Trump canceled a press conference at his property in Mar-a-Lago, Fla., which was set for Jan. 6, marking the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol. He said he will instead make comments at a rally in Arizona on Jan. 15.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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