Google approves Trump’s Truth Social for Play Store

Oct 12 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) Google has approved the distribution of former US President Donald Trump’s social media app, Truth Social, on the Google Play Store, a company spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which operates Truth Social, is expected to make the app available on the Play Store soon, Google said.

“It’s been a pleasure working with Google, and we’re glad they’ve helped us finally bring Truth Social to all Americans, no matter what device they’re using,” said TMTG CEO, Devin Nunes, in a statement.

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Truth Social, which launched in the US on Apple’s App Store in February, was previously unavailable on the Play Store due to insufficient content moderation, according to a Google spokesperson. august. Google had raised concerns with Truth Social about violations of its Play Store policies prohibiting content such as physical threats and incitement to violence.

Without the Google and Apple stores, there is no easy way for most smartphone users to download Truth Social.

The Google Play Store is the main way Android phone users in the United States use to download apps. Android users can obtain apps through competing stores or download them directly from a website, although this often requires additional steps and security permissions. Truth Social is available through these means even though Google has blocked it from the Play Store.

Android phones make up about 40% of the US smartphone market.

Truth Social has restored Trump’s social media presence more than a year after he was banned from Twitter Inc. (TWTR.N)Facebook (META.O) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O)‘s YouTube following the US Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, after he was accused of posting messages inciting violence.

TMTG has pledged to provide an “engaging and censorship-free experience” on Truth Social, appealing to a base who feel their views on hot topics such as the 2020 presidential election result have been scrubbed from consumer technology platforms.

News of Google’s approval was first reported by Axios.

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Reporting by Helen Coster in New York; Additional reporting by Paresh Dave in Oakland, Anirudh Saligrama and Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Deepa Babington, Marguerita Choy and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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