Former President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday the launch of TRUTH Social, a social media platform whose takes direct aim at Trump's grievances with Big Tech. The announcement came as part of a SPAC deal between Digital World Acquisition Corp. and Trump Media & Technology Group.
As part of the launch, TMTG announced plans to launch an on-demand streaming service that will feature "'non-woke' entertainment programming, news, podcasts, and more."
"I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech," Trump said in a statement. "We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable."
Screenshots of the app in the App Store feature the account of user named @jack, a white guy with a long beard.
Past attempts at launching conservative, "free-speech" branded social media alternatives have not gone well. Parler enjoyed a surge of users near the end of 2020. But in January 2021, Apple and Google removed Parler from their respective app stores. Parler's CEO took this as a sign that "big tech really wants to kill competition," but Apple and Google said it was a matter of ensuring the app didn't host incitement of violence or other illegal activity. Parler has since relaunched, but it hasn't become a viable alternative to the mainstream social media sites.
Gettr, another pro-Trump social network, also failed to take off, despite being overwhelmed with jihadists.
The launch of TRUTH Social could also further fracture the already fragile ecosystem of conservative social media apps. In 2020, The Trump Organization reportedly held talks to take a stake in Parler in exchange for President Trump posting exclusively on the platform, according to Buzzfeed News. The deal fell through.
The SPAC deal would give TMTG approximately $293 million in funding to scale, though the deal is still subject to shareholder approval. TRUTH Social is available for pre-order on the Apple App store. TMTG said it hopes to conduct an invite-only beta launch in November 2021 and a nationwide rollout in Q1 2022.