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Donald Trump’s Truth Social starts off with a snag

The rollout of Truth Social, former President Donald J. Trump’s social media alternative to Twitter, has gotten off to a slow start.

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump’s account on the app, available free on Apple’s App Store since Monday, had just under 50,000 followers. That is a far cry from the tens of millions of followers he had on Twitter before he was barred from the social media platform last year, following the attack on the Capitol by some of his supporters.

Mr. Trump’s account still has a single post, which the company calls “truths” as opposed to “tweets.”

The official debut of Truth Social on Monday was marred by error messages and a long waiting list for people who had already signed up to download the app. (This reporter was at 94,000 on the list but was able to download the app on Tuesday.)

Technical glitches for new apps are not uncommon, and the parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group, had said it didn’t expect the new platform to be fully operational before the end of March. Truth Social posted a message from its own account that said “our team is working as fast as possible.”

The app’s glitchy start didn’t appear to have deterred investors, who continue to push up the share price of Digital World Acquisition, the special purpose acquisition company that Trump Media announced plans to merge within October. On Tuesday, Digital World’s stock rose 14 percent to close at just over $96 a share.

Digital World has become the best performing SPAC — a kind of company that goes public first, raising money from investors to buy a private company. The stock has continued to rise even in the face of regulatory investigations into how exactly Digital World’s deal with Trump Media came about.

Because of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, it is unclear when the merger will close. If and when it does, Trump Media will gain access to nearly $1.3 billion in cash, which will help build its social media business.

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