Donald Trump’s new social media app began rolling out gradually late Sunday and should be “fully operational” by late March, potentially raising the profile of the former president more than a year after he was banned by major platforms.
“This week we will begin rolling out the product to the Apple App Store,” said Devin Nunes, CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), the parent company of the new Truth Social app.
The former Republican congressman was speaking Sunday on conservative Fox News.
“I think by the end of March we will be fully operational — at least within the United States,” added Nunes, who resigned from the US House of Representatives to lead the Trump group.
Trump touted Truth Social as an alternative to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, all of which he banned after his supporters attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The former president was accused of inciting his followers to use force to annul the result of the 2020 election.
On Sunday, the App Store allowed visitors to pre-order Truth Social from Monday, the President’s Day holiday in the United States.
Later on Sunday, the app was reported as being available for some of those who pre-ordered.
“It’s very touching for me to see people on the stage whose votes have been cancelled,” Nunes said.
“The truth is coming” “We (customers) want us to tell us what they would like to have on the platform, which is the opposite of what some tech-obsessed people in Silicon Valley say in telling people what they want to think about and deciding who can or can’t be on the platform.”
Trump and his wife Melania Trump on Monday also plan to offer to sell 10,000 NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, illustrating key moments in Trump’s presidency. NFTs are certified digital images that can be bought and sold.
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, the third Republican in the House of Representatives, tweeted Friday, referring to the ominous phrase “winter is coming” from the TV series Game of Thrones.
She posted a screenshot of her message on the Truth Beta, the beta version of the new site, saying, “I’m so excited to be on the truth!”
Donald Trump Jr celebrated on Twitter, “Time for some truth!!!” Including what he said was his father’s first post on the Truth Social: “Get ready! Your favorite boss will see you soon!”
Asked by AFP for a comment, TMTG did not immediately respond.
The group is said to have a $1.25 billion treasure chest as it searches for a niche in the crowded conservative social media market, which is currently served by platforms such as Gettr, Parler and Gab.
Before he was banned by Twitter, Trump had about 89 million followers there and used the platform constantly, both in presidential statements and to attack rivals.
Trump, 75, has hinted, but has never said definitively whether he will seek the presidency again.
He is currently under the shadow of numerous investigations and lawsuits, including his tax files and his efforts to cling to power after losing the 2020 election.