Former US President Donald Trump launches ‘Truth Social’ platform on Apple’s App Store in latest effort to get around social media ban
Former US president Donald Trump launched an initial version of his social media venture Truth Social, late on Sunday on Apple’s iPhone App Store.
The launch came after reports last week indicated that the app was being used by several hundred beta testers.
Truth Social is Trump’s latest effort to create an online presence for himself following his ban from most mainstream social media platforms after the deadly 6 January, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.
At the time Trump was accused of issuing online messages that incited violence.
Social media presence
Last year Trump launched a website to publish his own messages, but the site shut down after one month of operation.
Mock-up images of the Truth Social app on its App Store page indicate that it bears a striking visual similarity to Twitter – albeit with key graphical items in red, rather than blue.
Trump’s Republican Party is typically identified with the colour red, with blue being associated with the Democrats.
Unlike Twitter, the service currently lacks a web version. Visitors to Truth Social’s website are directed to the App Store to download the app, or they can sign up to join a waiting list to register an account.
Users attempting to create accounts have reportedly been sent a message saying they were placed on a waitlist “due to massive demand”.
The company behind the app, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), led by former Republican Representative Devin Nunes, is one of several firms seeking to provide an alternative to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube that they promise will provide greater freedom of speech.
Those competitors, including Gettr and Parler and video site Rumble, have so far failed to gain audiences comparable to established services.
Nunes told Fox News on Sunday that following the initial launch he hopes Truth Social will be “fully operational” in the US by the end of March.
Visitors to the Truth Social website from some countries outside the US reported being blocked by a security tool.
TMTG is planning to list in New York through a merger with blank-check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC), TMTG said in October.
After the merger TMTG stands to receive $293 million (£216m) in cash that DWAC holds in a trust, assuming no DWAC shareholder redeems their shares, as well as an additional $1bn that it raised in December.
All the funding is dependent on the merger’s closure, which is likely to be several months away. In the meantime, critics have said it is unclear how TMTG is funding its current development.