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Donald Trump's Truth Social app launches on Apple App Store

This illustration photo shows a person checking the app store on a smartphone for "Truth Social", with it's website on a computer screen in the background. Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP

This illustration photo shows a person checking the app store on a smartphone for "Truth Social", with it's website on a computer screen in the background. Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP

Published Feb 21, 2022

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Donald Trump's new social media venture, Truth Social, launched late on Sunday in Apple's App Store, potentially marking the former president's return to social media after he was banned from several platforms last year.

The app was available to download shortly before midnight ET and was automatically downloaded to Apple Inc devices belonging to users who had pre-ordered the app.

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Some users reported either having trouble registering for an account or were added to a wait list with a message: "Due to massive demand, we have placed you on our wait list."

The app has been available for people invited to use it during its test phase, Reuters previously reported.

Trump 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.

Led by former Republican US Representative Devin Nunes, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), the venture behind Truth Social, joins a growing portfolio of technology companies that are positioning themselves as champions of free speech and hope to draw users who feel their views are suppressed on more established platforms.

So far none of the newer companies, which include Twitter competitors Gettr and Parler and video site Rumble, have come close to matching the popularity of their mainstream counterparts.

"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".

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"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.

Truth Social's app store page detailing its version history showed the first public version of the app, or version 1.0 was available a day ago, confirming a Reuters report. The current version 1.0.1 includes "bug fixes," according to the page.

Reuters

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DRUMMING SUPPORT

On Friday, Nunes was on the app urging users to follow moreaccounts, share photos and videos and participate inconversations, in an apparent attempt to drum up activity,according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Among Nunes' posts, he welcomed a new user who appeared tobe a Catholic priest and encouraged him to invite more prieststo join, according to the person with knowledge of the matter.

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Even as details of the app begin trickling out, TMTG remainsmostly shrouded in secrecy and is regarded with skepticism bysome in tech and media circles. It is unclear, for example, howthe company is funding its current growth.

TMTG is planning to list in New York through a merger withblank-check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC)and stands to receive $293 million in cash that DWAC holds in atrust, assuming no DWAC shareholder redeems their shares, TMTGsaid in an Oct. 21 press release.

Additionally, in December TMTG raised $1 billion committedfinancing from private investors; that money also will not beavailable until the DWAC deal closes.

Digital World's activities have come under scrutiny from theSecurities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. FinancialIndustry Regulatory Authority, according to a regulatory filing,and the deal is likely months away from closing.

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(Reporting by Julia Love in San Francisco and Helen Coster inNew York; Additional reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein inWashington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Lincoln Feast)

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