Trump plans social media platform to rival Twitter and Facebook
Social media company called Truth Social plans to go live well ahead of the 2022 midterm elections
US former President Donald Trump has announced a deal that would enable him to regain a social media presence after he was kicked off Twitter and Facebook platforms.
The former president’s new enterprise will operate from the first quarter of 2022, according to Trump Media and Technology Group. It says it plans to start a social media company called Truth Social. The moves, if all goes according to plan, will occur well before 2022 midterm elections.
The Trump release said the company will be publicly traded through a merger with another firm called Digital World Acquisition Corporation. Trump has long signalled aspirations to start a social media company after he was booted from Twitter and Facebook. Earlier this year, he abandoned a website blog where he posted statements after it attracted relatively few readers.
Besides the social network planned for the first quarter of 2022, the company said it also proposes a subscription video on-demand service, according to the release.
Digital World Acquisition shares jumped 49% in US premarket trading on Thursday, having doubled earlier.
Trump, who has teased that he might run again in 2024 without making any formal announcement, has been banned by major social-media companies for his role in encouraging supporters who broke into the US Capitol on January 6 as both houses of Congress were meeting to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Twitter barred Trump permanently. Facebook said this year that he would remain suspended from its networks for at least two years and would be reinstated in 2023 only if “the risk to public safety” has subsided.
Trump has been looking to reconnect with supporters, raise money and drive news coverage that he lost with his access to social media platforms, especially Twitter. During his presidency, Trump relied on Twitter for everything from insulting rivals to major policy announcements.
Without social media, Trump had been relegated to issuing press releases — which he often does multiple times a day in a format similar to his tweets — holding campaign-style rallies and giving interviews to friendly media outlets.
Patrick Orlando is the chair and CEO of the Miami-based special purpose acquisition company, Digital World Acquisition, according to its filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Orlando has been involved in several blank-cheque companies, including serving since January 2020 as CEO of Yunhong International, which is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol ZGYH and is based in Wuhan, China, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings including those by Yunhong International.
Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
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