Feb 21, 2022 - Technology

Truth Social launches in App Store but still puts users on waitlist

Screenshot: Apple App Store

Donald Trump’s social media app Truth Social launched in Apple’s App Store Monday at midnight, but still wasn’t fully available for use to all accounts.

State of play: Once a user was asked to create an account with the app and enter a username and personal information, such as date of birth, the app led users to another waitlist, where they still couldn’t join the actual network.

Screenshot from app

The intrigue: “Your account has been created successfully!“ a notification reads. “Thank you for joining! Due to massive demand, we have placed you on our waitlist. We love you and you’re not just another number to us, But your waitlist number is below.”

  • The number given to this reporter, who attempted to launch the app in the 3am hour, shortly after the app went live in the App Store, was 135,828.
  • For those who had already joined the app’s waitlist pre-launch, the app was automatically downloaded to their iPhones at midnight.
  • The app launched last week to a handful of beta testers. As of late Sunday evening, it appeared to be working for a handful of people who had been using the app via the beta test to report bugs, including Republican lawmakers that tweeted screenshots of their accounts, like Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

The big picture: The Truth Social launch is supposed to mark Donald Trump’s return to social media after being suspended from most social platforms last year, but so far, it’s unclear how far along the app has been developed.

  • On Sunday night, a reporter for The Daily Dot noted they were able to access an internal beta version of the app used internally by developers that was left publicly accessible online. The site includes some sensitive information, including photos uploaded by a developer that appeared to show a corporate Slack channel for the site, per the report.
  • In October, hackers were able to hack into the working site immediately after it was announced publicly, showing lax security safeguards.
  • Last month, Axios reported that Truth Social was reaching out to social media influencers asking them to “reserve their spots” for when the network launched in February or March, but it had reached out to a few influencers that had publicly posted anti-Trump content.

Between the lines: The app, according to screenshots posted online and screenshots seen by Reuters, looks a lot like Twitter, except tweets and retweets are called “Truths” and “Retruths.”

  • According to Reuters, the app doesn’t let users edit their posts, a feature long-requested by Twitter users.

Be smart: It’s unclear who exactly is building Truth Social and who is funding the company, which plans to go public via a blank check merger.

  • The blank check company, called Digital World Acquisition Corporation, is under investigation by securities regulators.
  • Last year, the group behind Truth Social, Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), announced that it secured $1 billion in new investment as a part of its blank check merger, but none of the investors were identified, which is highly unusual for that sort of transaction, as Axios’ Dan Primack noted.
  • Axios reported last month that engineers from Rumble, a conservative alternative to YouTube, have possibly been helping to build the back-end of the app. The two companies announced an infrastructure agreement last year.

What’s next: Truth Social CEO, former Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, told Fox News on Sunday that the goal was to be fully operational in the U.S. by the end of March.

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