Trump has a new social media app, and he’s off looking for cash to bring it to a screen near you.
Truth Social, which looks like Twitter except with more Trump, is aiming to roll out in the first three months of next year… if you wanted something to look forward to in 2022.
But that’s only the first step.
Afterwards, allegedly, a video-on-demand subscription service will follow, combining entertainment and news. TMTG+, it’ll be called (for Trump Media & Technology Group).
And then branching into cloud, it sees itself as the next big rival to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud.
On the last point, there may be seeds of a grudge. Parler, the so-called “free speech” social network favored among Trump’s supporters, was kicked off AWS. The app will “stand up to Big Tech,” says Trump.
For now, though, Trump Media & Technology Group is merging with a special purpose acquisition company (a.k.a. a “blank check” company), Digital World Acquisition Group, with a valuation of $875 million.
But since that valuation includes debt, Trump’s group only stands to get $293 million of it.
Why not go bigger, naturally. Trump is now trying to raise an extra $1 billion, citing a valuation of $3 billion after Trump supporters have been out buying Digital World shares.
Trump if you’ve wondered what he’s been up to has been working the phones to ask individual investors to hand over more than $100 million. But some hedge funds are selling the stock now to distance themselves from him.
Saba Capital Management and Lighthouse Investment Partners are two that have quickly dumped their shares.
Bear in mind Trump’s last experiment with social media platforms getting banned from most of them after goading supporters to invade the US Capitol on January 6.
Another danger is passing muster with the regulators.
Senator Elizabeth Warren has asked the SEC chair Gary Gensler to investigate the merger and whether it violated security laws about disclosure.
It all appears to be part of how Trump, who has repeatedly expressed a desire to embark on another presidential candidacy, can find a future role, and possibly more to the point, cash.
App with buttons for small hands
Before most social media platforms barred him, Trump had 89 million Twitter followers, besides 33 million on Facebook and 24.5 million on Instagram.
“Your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable,” Trump said in an October statement.
Truth Social had given itself a goal of launching a beta invitation-only version by the end of November, but has missed that.
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