07.Jan .2022 21:30

Trump’s Truth Social app will apparently launch in February

Trump’s Truth Social app will apparently launch in February
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Former President Donald Trump’s new social network, Truth Social, will launch on iOS on February 21st, according to a listing on the App Store. (That’s Presidents Day, if you didn’t know. Subtle.) The app is being made by the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), Trump’s new media company led by former US Rep. Devin Nunes.

Truth Social looks very much like a Twitter clone, based on screenshots in the App Store listing. The profile page shown in one screenshot looks almost exactly like Twitter’s, and posts appear to have icons for replies, retweets, faves, and sharing. (Truth Social describes each individual post as a “truth” in the app’s description. The retweet equivalent is apparently called a “re-truth”), The Verge reports.

The social network’s Twitter-like design is almost assuredly no accident. Twitter was Trump’s favorite megaphone for years, until he was permanently banned in January 2021 shortly after the January 6th insurrection on the US Capitol. In May, he launched what was essentially a blog where he posted pithy Twitter-length comments, but it wasn’t nearly as popular as his former Twitter account and was shut down less than a month after it launched. Trump sued Twitter in October in an attempt to reinstate his account.

It’s unclear if February 21st is also when Truth Social will be available on the web and / or Android. If you visit Truth Social’s website right now, there’s only a button to preorder the free app on the App Store and a form you can fill out to join a waiting list. It’s also unclear whether the social network will be invite-only when it launches.

TMTG didn’t immediately respond to questions from The Verge. Truth Social has already launched in beta for “invited guests only,” Trump said as part of a December announcement about TMTG’s partnership with the video sharing site Rumble (which will provide video and streaming technology for Truth Social).

Truth Social has already hit some controversy, however. Truth Social is built using Mastodon’s source code, but in October, Mastodon published a statement saying Truth Social was in violation of Mastodon’s software license because Truth Social claimed it was proprietary and because Truth Social didn’t share its source code back. Mastodon said it sent a formal letter to Truth Social’s chief legal officer asking that it share the source code, and Truth Social has since added an “Open Source” section to its website.