TRUTH Social, a new social media venture from former President Donald Trump, officially launched late Sunday in Apple's App Store. While some users reported having trouble registering for an account or were added to a waitlist, for others that pre-ordered the app, it was automatically downloaded to their Apple devices. Trump is marketing the platform as an alternative to social media giants Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL), which banned him on the grounds of inciting the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Quote: "Our goal is, I think we're going to hit it, I think by the by the end of March we're going to be fully operational at least within the United States," said former Republican U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, who is CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG).
While it's unclear how the company is currently being funded, TMTG is planning to list in New York through a merger with SPAC Digital World Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:DWAC). Following the deal, it will receive $293M in cash that DWAC holds in a trust, minus any shareholder redemptions. In December, TMTG also raised $1B of committed financing from private investors, which will be available once the DWAC transaction closes.
Outlook: Hoping to attract users who feel their views are being censored on "mainstream media," an increasing number of tech companies have recently launched alternative platforms that champion themselves as defenders of free speech. Among them are Twitter competitors Parler and Gettr (launched by former Trump spokesperson Jason Miller), as well as video site Rumble (NASDAQ:CFVI). So far, the platforms have not yet matched the popularity of their established counterparts, and many influencers that have migrated to them still continue to post on traditional social media like Instagram and Twitter.
As part of a partnership inked in December, Rumble will deliver video and streaming for TRUTH Social.