Chris Lange, FISM News
A year after former President Donald Trump was banned from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, 500 beta testers have begun using an early version of his new social media app “Truth Social,” according to reporting by Reuters.
Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) announced the creation of the new social media platform in December after partnering with Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) with subscription agreements to raise more than $1 billion from investors. Truth Social is billed on TMTG’s website as a “big tent social media platform that encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology” that promises to deliver an “engaging and censorship-free experience.” Chief Executive Devin Nunes previously said the app will launch by the end of March.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted a screenshot of his father’s first Truth Social post, which read “Get ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!”
Liz Willis, a correspondent and vice president of operations at Right Side Broadcasting Network, told Reuters she was among those invited to participate in the beta test. According to Willis, she downloaded the app on her iPhone through Apple-owned, beta-testing site TestFlight used by developers to launch their apps in the App Store. As of Wednesday, she and hundreds of other users were posting on the platform.
“I can see my participation in Truth Social outgrowing Twitter because it seems I am not suppressed like I have been on Twitter since 2016,” said conservative podcaster Wayne Dupree who is also among Truth Social’s beta testers. “Truth Social is going to allow my audience to see me as Twitter purposely does not,” he added.
The platform is said to resemble that of Twitter, with users posting and sharing the same way they would with a tweet, and is free of ads. Users choose who they follow, and their feeds are a blend of individual posts and an RSS-like news feed. Users are notified with an alert if someone mentions or starts following them.
Several conservative media personalities also have accounts, according to a screen shot reviewed by Reuters, though neither the image nor the names of the individuals have been published at this time.
Since the beta testing began, TMTG released an updated version, “Truth Social 0.9” and is currently testing for bug fixes for “re-truths,” Truth Social’s version of a retweet.
Trump ushered in a new era in politics during his 2016 presidential campaign by taking the unprecedented step of bypassing the press and communicating directly with voters through social media, a strategy widely credited for securing his victory. The 45th President was permanently banned from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter following the Jan. 6 Capitol Riots. Prior to the ban, Trump had 88 million Twitter followers. He sued Facebook, Twitter and Google last July for censoring him and other conservatives on their platforms. Trump, who has been hinting at a 2024 presidential run, will headline the annual Conservative Political Action Conference due to take place in Orlando later this month.