Former President US Donald Trump’s new media venture plans to launch its social media app Truth Social on February 21, according to an Apple App Store listing.
Similar to Twitter, the app offers features to follow other people and trending topics, according to demo photos. Its message equivalent of a tweet will be dubbed “truth”.
The app’s launch would come 13 months after Meta Platforms’s Facebook and Twitter banned Trump for encouraging his supporters to participate in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol based on unsubstantiated claims 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 claims 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 planned launch date of the app.
The launch is expected to be the first of three stages in TMTG’s development. The second would be a subscription video-on-demand service called TMTG+ with entertainment, news and podcasts, according to the company website. A November investor presentation indicated that TMTG also wants to launch a podcast network.
TMTG is valued at $5.3 billion (roughly Rs. 39,430 crore) based on the stock price of Digital World Acquisition, which rose 20 percent after Reuters reported the app’s listing on the App Store. TMTG agreed in October to merge with the blank-check firm at a valuation of $875 million (roughly Rs. 6,510 crore).
Trump supporters and retail investors have snapped up Digital World’s stock, betting that Trump’s popularity with his Republican political base will translate into commercial runaway success.
The blank-check acquisition deal faces regulatory risk. Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler last month to investigate the planned merger for potential violations of securities laws around disclosure. The SEC has declined to comment on whether it plans any action.
TMTG last month raised an additional $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,440 crore) from private investors.
Trump cancelled a news conference at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida that had been scheduled for January 6, marking the one-year anniversary of the Capitol attack. He said he will instead deliver remarks at a rally in Arizona on January 15.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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