SPAC tied to Trump's social media venture sinks as downloads slump 95%

[NEW YORK] Shares of the blank-cheque firm bringing Donald Trump's media venture public are sinking with daily downloads for the former president's social media app declining 95 per cent since launching last month.

Digital World Acquisition Corp, the special-purpose acquisition company merging with Trump Media & Technology Group, has shed 31 per cent of its value since shares soared late in February when the Truth Social app launched on the Apple App Store.

Downloads have slowly declined to 8,000 per day from an initial boom of 170,000, according to research firm Apptopia. The number of daily-active users on Apple devices over the past week was roughly 513,000, according to Apptopia estimates shared with Bloomberg News.

That figure may be not complete because hundreds of thousands of users were able to download the app with the ability to open it on their device, but are still on a waiting list without access to its full functionality. Truth Social also is not yet available to Android users, a group that could potentially bring up millions in additional downloads.

For comparison, people-connecting sites Yubo and Wizz boast similar daily US iOS user metrics to Truth Social, while Parler has 20,000 to 25,000 daily iOS users in the US, Apptopia's data show. Truth Social is part of Trump's plans for a media and tech empire and describes itself as an alternative to Twitter.

Representatives for Trump Media & Technology Group and Digital World didn't immediately respond to Bloomberg News emails requesting a comment.

The app's debut had a range of problems with users being told they couldn't sign up as others received error messages. Despite the rocky debut, the SPAC rallied 10 per cent to a 4-month high.

The shares are up nearly 550 per cent from a debut last year amid heavy demand from retail investors. Still, there's been little detail for investors regarding how Trump Media plans to operate. The latest plan has been for a social network, news channel, a streaming service and eventually a cloud-computing platform. BLOOMBERG

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