Truth Social: Donald Trump’s new social media app

Truth Social: Donald Trump’s new social media app

Truth Social: beta testers get a glimpse of Donald Trump’s new social media app
The platform has been described as having a striking resemblance to Twitter, which was one of several sites that banned the former president

 

A laptop and mobile phone both show the holding screen for Truth Social which says “Follow the truth” in large print.
Truth Social allows users to post and share a “truth” the same way they would share a tweet. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Details about Donald Trump’s new social media app “Truth Social” are trickling out as about 500 beta testers have begun using an early version of the platform.

The former president announced his plans for the new social media platform in October, promising to rival the tech companies that banned him from their platforms after the Capitol insurrection.

His new media and technology venture, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), has pledged to deliver an “engaging and censorship-free experience” on the Truth Social app.

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TMTG remains shrouded in secrecy and is regarded with skepticism by many in tech and media circles. Comments from beta testers this week suggest the platform bears a striking resemblance to Twitter.

Liz Willis, a correspondent and vice-president of operations at Right Side Broadcasting Network, told Reuters she received an email Tuesday stating that “T Media Tech LLC has invited you to test Truth Social.”

Willis was able to download the app on her iPhone through the beta testing site TestFlight, the Apple-owned product that developers use prior to launching their apps in the App Store. Users have been posting on this version of Truth Social for the past 24 hours, Willis said Wednesday morning.

Truth Social allows users to post and share a “truth” the same way they would with a tweet. There are no ads, according to Willis and a second source familiar with TMTG.

Users choose who they follow and the feed is a mix of individual posts and an RSS-like news feed. They will be alerted if someone mentions or begins following them.

According to a screenshot, the app says that “A new direct messaging experience will be available soon. Please stay tuned.”

By late Wednesday, Trump’s account on Truth Social had 317 followers, according to a screenshot viewed by Reuters. Trump had 88 million followers before Twitter banned him.

Trump’s account shows one “truth” posted three days ago, verified at the account of @realDonaldTrump with a red check and with the message: “Get Ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!”

Donald Trump Jr on Twitter highlighted his father’s first post on Truth Social.

Several conservative media personalities also have accounts, according to a screen shot reviewed by Reuters. Reuters could not immediately reach those individuals for comment.

TMTG released an updated version, “Truth Social 0.9”, Wednesday morning. It is testing for bug fixes for “re-truths”, which is what it calls a retweet, “image aspect ratios and compression, improved error handling and account creation”.

On Wednesday morning, Devin Nunes, TMTG chief executive, who joined the app on 10 February, posted: “Good morning Truth testers. Please screenshot any bugs when the screenshot preview comes up.”

If a tester sees anything that they don’t like, they can screenshot it and report it to the developers.

A message says: “Beta feedback and device information is collected and shared with the developer and it will be linked to your email address.”

But much remains unclear about the app, including its launch date. Nunes told Reuters the app will launch by the end of March. When Trump announced the platform in October, a press release said the platform would be open to “invited users” for a beta launch in November, with plans to make it available to the broader public in the beginning of 2022.

There are also questions whether the app’s goal of “freedom of expression” can coexist with Apple and Google’s app store policies.

TMTG was not immediately available to comment.

Trump sued Facebook, Twitter, and Google in July 2021 for allegedly censoring him. The companies have so far upheld their bans and suspensions on the former president.

 

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