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Trump to launch his social media app in February, listing shows

TRUTH Social, the Trump Media & Technology
Group alternative to Twitter, is available for pre-order before going live on
the US Presidents’ Day holiday.

Similar to Twitter, the app offers features to
follow other people and trending topics, according to demo photos. Its message
equivalent of a tweet will be dubbed “truth”.

The app’s launch would come 13 months after
Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook and Twitter banned Trump for encouraging his
supporters to participate in the Jan 6 attack on the US Capitol based on
unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Marking the one-year anniversary of the
attack, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that his predecessor’s false
claims could unravel the rule of law and subvert future elections.

TMTG and Apple did not respond to requests for
comment, but a source familiar with the matter confirmed that Feb 21 is the
planned launch date of the app.

The launch is expected to be the first of
three stages in TMTG’s development. The second would be a subscription
video-on-demand service called TMTG+ with entertainment, news and podcasts,
according to the company website. A November investor presentation indicated
that TMTG also wants to launch a podcast network.

TMTG is valued at $5.3 billion based on the
stock price of Digital World Acquisition Corp, which rose 20% after Reuters
reported the app’s listing on the App Store. TMTG agreed in October to merge
with the blank-check firm at a valuation of $875 million.

Trump supporters and retail investors have
snapped up Digital World’s stock, betting that Trump’s popularity with his
Republican political base will translate into commercial runaway success.

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The blank-check acquisition deal faces
regulatory risk. Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Securities and
Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler last month to investigate the planned
merger for potential violations of securities laws around disclosure. The SEC
has declined to comment on whether it plans any action.

TMTG last month raised an additional $1
billion from private investors.

Trump canceled a news conference at his
Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida that had been scheduled for Jan 6, marking the
one-year anniversary of the Capitol attack. He said he will instead deliver
remarks at a rally in Arizona on Jan 15.

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