Details of Donald Trump’s new social media app ‘Truth Social’ are being released as around 500 beta testers started using an early version of the platform.
The former president announced his plans for the new social media platform in October, vowing to compete with tech companies that banned him from their platforms after the Capitol uprising.
His new media and technology company, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), has pledged to deliver an “engaging, censorship-free experience” on the Truth Social app.
TMTG remains shrouded in secrecy and is viewed with skepticism by many tech and media circles. Feedback from beta testers this week suggests the platform looks suspiciously like Twitter.
Liz Willis, correspondent and vice president of operations at Right Side Broadcasting Network, told Reuters she received an email on Tuesday that “T Media Tech LLC has invited you to test Truth Social.”
Willis was able to download the app to his iPhone through the TestFlight beta testing site, the Apple-owned product that developers use before launching their apps on the App Store. Users have been posting to this version of Truth Social for 24 hours, Willis said Wednesday morning.
Truth Social allows users to post and share a “truth” the same way they would 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 them or starts following them.
According to a screenshot, the app states that “a new direct messaging experience is coming soon. Please stay tuned.”
As of Wednesday evening, Trump’s Truth Social account had 317 followers, according to a screenshot seen by Reuters. Trump had 88 million followers before Twitter banned him.
Trump’s account shows a ‘truth’ posted three days ago, verified on @realDonaldTrump’s account with a red checkmark and 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 figures also have accounts, according to a screenshot reviewed by Reuters. Reuters could not immediately reach those people for comment.
TMTG released an updated version, “Truth Social 0.9”, on Wednesday morning. He’s testing bug fixes for “re-truths,” he calls a retweet, “aspect ratios and image compression, improved error handling, and account creation. “.
On Wednesday morning, Devin Nunes, Managing Director of TMTG, who joined the app on February 10, posted, “Hello truth testers. Please capture any bugs when the screenshot preview appears. »
If a tester sees something they don’t like, they can capture it and report it to the developers.
A message reads: “Beta feedback and device information is collected and shared with the developer and will be linked to your email address.”
But much remains unclear about the app, including its launch date. Nunes told Reuters the app will be launched by the end of March. When Trump announced the platform in October, a press release said the platform would be open to “guest users” for a beta launch in November, with plans to make it available to the general public in early November. 2022.
There are also questions about whether the app’s “free speech” goal can co-exist with Apple’s and Google’s App Store policies.
TMTG was not immediately available for comment.
Trump sued Facebook, Twitter and Google in July 2021 for allegedly censoring him. The companies have so far maintained their bans and suspensions on the former president.