Overview: This article attempts to shed light on the controversy surrounding Truth Social launch date.
According to tweets from an executive on a test version seen by Reuters, Donald Trump’s new social media endeavour, Truth Social, is slated to launch in Apple’s App Store on Monday, perhaps marking the former president’s return to social media on the US Presidents Day holiday.
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A verified account for the network’s chief product officer, Billy B., responded to queries about the app from users asked to use it during its test period in a series of postings late Friday. According to screenshots seen by Reuters, one user inquired when the software, which had been accessible for beta testers this week, would be released to the general public.
The CEO said, “We’re now set for distribution in the Apple App store on Monday, February 21.”
Trump’s presence on social media would be restored more than a year after he was banned from Twitter Inc, Facebook Inc, and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube following a Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his supporters, after he was accused of sending inciting comments.
Donald Jr, Trump’s eldest son, shared a screenshot of his father’s verified @realDonaldTrump Truth Social account on Twitter on Feb. 15, along with one post, or “truth,” that he submitted on Feb. 14: “Prepare yourself! You’ll be seeing your favourite President soon!”
Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), the venture behind Truth Social, will join a growing portfolio of technology companies positioning themselves as champions of free speech in the hopes of attracting users who feel their views are suppressed on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. It will be led by former Republican U.S. Representative Devin Nunes. None of the startups, which include Twitter competitors Gettr and Parler, as well as video site Rumble, have come close to matching the mainstream counterparts’ popularity.
The screenshots viewed by Reuters reveal the software is now at version 1.0, indicating it has achieved a level ready for public distribution, in addition to the post disclosing Monday’s launch date. According to two persons with access to that version, it was at version 0.9 as recently as Wednesday. A spokesperson from TMTG did not respond to a request for comment right away.
According to Apple’s App Store page, Truth Social is set to launch on February 21, a date verified by a source close to the project in January. However, Nunes recently stated publicly that the app would be out by the end of March.
According to a source familiar with the situation, Nunes was on the app on Friday asking users to follow more accounts, share photographs and videos, and join in chats in an apparent attempt to increase activity. Nunes also welcomed a new user who seemed to be a Catholic priest and pushed him to get more priests to join.
Other comments from the chief product officer during Friday’s question-and-answer session suggested that the startup’s features will be similar to those of Twitter.
“Not yet,” the CEO said when asked if users would be able to amend their “truths.” Users of Twitter have long wished for the option to alter their posts after they have been published.
Direct messaging, or DMs, between users will be the platform’s next major innovation, according to the CEO. The company is also exploring allowing users to sign up to receive notifications when others post material. He hinted that being able to block other users would be a key feature.“Block functionality will always be available in the app,” he stated.
“In the coming weeks,” the CEO stated, when questioned whether Truth Social will release a policy on verified accounts. Even when more information about the app becomes available, TMTG remains cloaked in secret and is viewed with mistrust by those in the IT and media circles. For example, it’s unclear how the corporation plans to fund its present expansion.
According to a press statement issued Oct. 21, TMTG plans to list in New York through a merger with blank-check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC), and stands to gain $293 million in cash held in a trust by DWAC if no DWAC shareholder redeems their shares.
TMTG also secured $1 billion in committed funding from private investors in December, but that money will not be available until the DWAC purchase is completed.
According to a regulatory filing, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States Financial Industry Regulatory Authority are investigating Digital World’s activities, and the purchase is still months away from completion.
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