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Trump’s new social media venture is off to a Trumpian start

Donald Trump new social media platform apparently has an app, but it doesn’t have an actual social media platform.

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After Donald Trump was forced from the major social-media platforms for violating their terms of service, the Associated Press reported in March 2021 that he would soon launch his own site. Jason Miller told Fox News at the time that the former president was poised to “completely redefine the game” with his new tech initiative.

It was against this backdrop that Fox News reported in May 2021 that Trump and his team had launched a new “communications platform,” powered by a “digital ecosystem.”

As regular readers probably recall, that wasn’t quite true: The Republican had actually launched a rudimentary blog, utilizing technology that’s existed for many years. Less than a month after its launch, the website was permanently scrapped — due to lack of reader interest.

The game had not been “completely redefined.”

Undeterred, the Republican and his team launched the Trump Media & Technology Group last fall, and it apparently has multimedia ambitions — it says it intends to compete with both Twitter and Netflix — and even hired a high-profile CEO: Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes resigned from Congress to lead the nascent company.

It was against this backdrop that the tech venture was back in the news yesterday. Reuters reported:

Donald Trump’s new social media venture, Truth Social, launched late on Sunday in Apple’s App Store, potentially marking the former president’s return to social media after he was banned from several platforms last year. The app was available shortly before midnight ET and was the top free app available on the App Store early Monday.

The good news for the former president is that there appears to be quite a bit of interest in the new platform. The bad news is that yesterday was not a successful day for the Trump Media & Technology Group.

For one thing, the rollout was plagued by systemic errors and breakdowns. Users not only couldn’t use the platform, they struggled to create accounts.

For another, the Truth Social logo looks remarkably similar to the logo used by Trailar, a British green energy company, for the last few years. The British company’s head of marketing said it is currently “seeking legal advice to understand next steps and options available to protect our brand.”

But even putting these relevant details aside, it’s not at all clear when people will actually start using Trump’s social network in earnest. The original plan was to have a fully functional platform by President’s Day. That was yesterday, and Team Trump obviously missed that target.

Nunes said he expects a “fully operational” service by the end of March.

In the meantime, there are ongoing questions about who and what are responsible for the Trump Media & Technology Group’s financing, which has reportedly drawn the interest of investigators at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Watch this space.