Trump Announces Challenge to Big Tech With New Social Media Platform

By Jonathan Walker | October 22, 2021
Jonathan loves talking politics, economics and philosophy. He carries unique perspectives on everything making him a rather odd mix of liberal-conservative with a streak of independent Austrian thought.
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Supporters gather for a rally with former President Donald Trump at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on October 09, 2021 in Des Moines, Iowa. Trump recently announced a new social media platform focused on freedom on speech. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, former President Donald Trump was banned from social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for allegedly inciting hatred and violence, although he was acquitted later in his impeachment trial. Trump promised that he would take on America’s big tech companies by launching his own social media platform, which he recently announced will be named Truth Social.

The platform will be launched by Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). The announcement followed reports that TMTG had entered into a merger agreement with Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) to form a new company that will be chaired by Trump.

An Oct. 20 press release announcing the platform states that TMTG’s aim is to create a “rival to the liberal media consortium” as well as to fight back against the Silicon Valley Big Tech companies that have “used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America.”

The Truth Social app is now available for pre-order via the Apple App Store. A beta launch for select guests is scheduled for November this year, followed by a nationwide rollout in the first quarter of next year. In a statement, Trump shared that he was excited to soon start sharing his thoughts online through Truth Social and fight back against Big Tech censorship.

“I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech. We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable. I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon. TMTG was founded with a mission to give a voice to all,” Trump said.

In addition to a social media platform, TMTG also plans to launch a subscription video-on-demand service called TMTG+ that will feature “non-woke” entertainment programming, podcasts, news, and so on. Scott St. John, the executive producer of popular shows like “America’s Got Talent” and “Deal or No Deal,” will act as the leader of TMTG+ Corporate Operations.

Patrick F. Orlando, CEO of DWAC, revealed that they have 293 million dollars in trust that can be used to scale up TMTG. “Given the total addressable market and President Trump’s large following, we believe the TMTG opportunity has the potential to create significant shareholder value,” Patrick F. Orlando, Chairman/CEO of DWAC, said in a statement.

After news of Truth Social and the DWAC-TMTG merger broke, the shares of DWAC skyrocketed amidst heavy trading volumes. Over 470 million shares of DAWC changed hands on Oct. 21, the most traded stock on the consolidated tape of Nasdaq and NYSE listings. At one point, shares jumped up 400 percent to hit a high of $52 before closing at $35.54.

Many analysts feel that the tremendous market interest in the TMTG merger and Truth Social is a reflection of Trump’s popularity. A platform with Trump at the forefront has high chances of attracting a large following.

“I have never seen anything like this, such share reaction based on hopes and dreams,” Kristi Marvin, a former investment banker who founded research firm SPACInsider, told other investors on a Twitter Spaces discussion.

Michael O’Rourke, the chief market strategist at Jones Trading in Stamford, Connecticut, believes that even Trump’s opponents will join Truth Social just to keep track of what the former president is saying.