With around 500 beta testers testing it, the Twitter-like app is gearing up for a public launch next month.
Truth Social, a new social media app by former US president Donald Trump, may soon be available for download to the public as more details of the platform have emerged this week.
First announced last October, Truth Social is Trump’s response to existing social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, all of which permanently banned his accounts in the aftermath of the 6 January riots at the US Capitol.
The app is being developed by his new venture launched soon after his presidency ended, called Trump Media & Technology Group. The company poises itself as “standing up to Big Tech” as “a uniting force for freedom of expression” and reportedly wants to go public.
According to two sources that spoke to Reuters, around 500 beta testers have begun testing an early version of the app, which is officially slated for launch on the Apple app store on 21 February – celebrated as Presidents’ Day in the US. However, the actual launch date is expected to be later.
Devin Nunes, a former politician who left the US Congress to become CEO of TMTG, told Reuters that Truth Social will be publicly available for download by the end of March. Nunes confirmed that he is one of the beta testers of the app himself.
Earlier this week, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr shared a screenshot of his father’s first ‘truth’, the app’s lingo for a post – comparable to a tweet. The post read: “Get ready! Your favourite president will see you soon!”
Truths, re-truths and no making fun
Other beta testers of Truth Social have been sharing their experiences of the app. Liz Willis, a correspondent at conservative outlet Right Side Broadcasting Network, took to Twitter to share screenshots of the app’s interface – which many say looks like the spitting image of Twitter.
TRUTH Social (beta) has dropped and President Trump is active on his own account!
The world is healing. 🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/58klKutxay
— Liz Willis (@LizWillis_) February 15, 2022
Rumble, a video hosting platform popular with conservatives, confirmed that it would be powering videos on Truth Social and shared screenshots of its first ‘truth’ on Twitter.
Willis told Reuters that she was invited to be a beta tester on Truth Social through an email sent to her on Tuesday. She was then able to download the app thorough TestFlight, a beta testing site owned by Apple that is used by developers before launching apps on the App Store.
Much of the user experience on Truth Social seems to be based on Twitter’s interface, with features such as ‘truths’, ‘re-truths’ (like retweets) and an RSS-like news feed. Willis confirmed that the app has no ads and users are alerted if someone mentions or follows them.
According to a screenshot seen by Reuters, the app asked beta testers to “stay tuned” as a new direct messaging feature “will be available soon”.
It remains to be seen if Truth Social meets the guidelines set out by mainstream app stores such as those run by Apple and Google once the app is launched.
When the platform was first announced in October, it was reported that its terms of service agreement prohibits users from making fun of the site. Users who sign up need to agree not to “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the site”.
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