By Medha Singh
(Reuters) -Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp, the blank-check company behind former U.S. President Donald Trump’s new social media venture, Truth Social, rose about 14% on Tuesday as the app topped downloads on Apple’s App Store after its launch late on Sunday.
Truth Social was downloaded 170,000 times since its launch, according to research firm Apptopia.
The app’s launch could mark Trump’s return to social media after he was banned from Twitter Inc, Facebook and Google following an attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters last year.
Digital World’s shares jumped 14% to $96.36, levels last seen in October, days after the blank check firm announced a deal to publicly list Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), the venture behind Truth Social.
The stock was also trending high on investor-focused social media site stocktwits.com, indicating interest from retail traders.
“It’s driven by hype but I’m skeptical that the retail driven frenzy can be sustained,” said Dennis Dick, head of markets structure, proprietary trader at Bright Trading LLC in Las Vegas.
“From a fundamental perspective, it’s too early to tell. Trump has a huge following and they could move from traditional social media to this platform… but it depends on how good the app is.”
New users faced trouble signing up for the free app or were placed on a waitlist that cited “massive demand” soon after the launch. It was unclear if the issues were resolved by Tuesday.
Trump Media & Technology Group and Digital World did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Wall Street’s top financial regulators are investigating Trump’s $1.25 billion deal to float TMTG on the stock market, a filing showed in December.
Other stocks linked to Trump also advanced. Phunware, hired by Trump’s 2020 Presidential re-election campaign to build a phone app, climbed 11%. SPAC CF Acquisition Corp VI, which is taking video platform Rumble Inc public, added 3.3%.
Twitter Inc slipped 1.7%, while Facebook-parent Meta Platforms shed 1%.
(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)