Truth Social, a new social media app by former US president Donald Trump, may soon be available for download to the public as more details of the platform have emerged this week.
First announced last October, Truth Social is Trump’s response to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, which banned or suspended his accounts in the aftermath of the January 2021 riots at the US Capitol.
The app is being developed by Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), a venture launched soon after his presidency ended. The company posits itself as “standing up to Big Tech” and as “a uniting force for freedom of expression”.
According to two sources that spoke to Reuters, around 500 beta testers have begun testing an early version of Truth Social. While a listing on the Apple App Store had slated the launch for 21 February – which is Presidents’ Day in the US – Reuters now reports that the launch date is expected to be later.
Devin Nunes, a former politician who recently left the US Congress to become CEO of TMTG, told Reuters that Truth Social will be publicly available for download by the end of March.
Earlier this week, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr shared a screenshot of his father’s first ‘truth’ – the app’s lingo for a post. It read: “Get ready! Your favourite president will see you soon!”
Truths, re-truths and no making fun
Some beta testers of Truth Social have been sharing their experiences of the app. Liz Willis, a correspondent at conservative outlet Right Side Broadcasting Network, took to Twitter to share screenshots of the app’s interface – which looks very similar in appearance to Twitter.
TRUTH Social (beta) has dropped and President Trump is active on his own account!
The world is healing. pic.twitter.com/58klKutxay
— Liz Willis (@LizWillis_) February 15, 2022
Rumble, a video hosting platform, confirmed that it would be powering videos on Truth Social and shared screenshots of its first ‘truth’ on Twitter.
Willis told Reuters that she was invited to be a beta tester on Truth Social through an email sent to her on Tuesday (15 February). She said she downloaded the app thorough TestFlight, a beta testing site owned by Apple that is used by developers before launching apps on the App Store.
Much of the user experience on Truth Social seems to be based on Twitter’s interface, with features such as ‘truths’, ‘re-truths’ (like retweets) and an RSS-like feed. Willis confirmed that the app has no ads and users are alerted if someone mentions or follows them.
According to a screenshot seen by Reuters, the app asked beta testers to “stay tuned” as a new direct messaging feature “will be available soon”.
When the platform was first announced in October, it was reported that its terms of service agreement would prohibit users from making fun of the app. Users who sign up need to agree not to “disparage, tarnish or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the site”.
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