Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL.O Google has approved former U.S. President Donald Trump’s social media app Truth Social for distribution in 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 in the Play Store shortly, Google said.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Google, and we’re glad they helped us to finally bring Truth Social to all Americans, regardless of what device they use,” TMTG’s Chief Executive Officer Devin Nunes said in a statement.
Truth Social, which launched in the United States in the Apple App Store in February, had not previously been available in the Play Store due to insufficient content moderation, according to a Google spokesperson in August. Google had expressed concerns to Truth Social about violations of its Play Store policies prohibiting content like physical threats and incitement to violence.
Without Google and Apple stores, there is no easy way for most smartphone users to download Truth Social.
Google‘s Play Store is the main way users of Android phones in the United States download apps. Android users can get apps through competing stores or download them directly from a website, though it often requires extra steps and security permissions. Truth Social has been available through those means even as Google blocked it from the Play Store.
Android phones comprise about 40% of the U.S. smartphone market.
Truth Social restored Trump’s presence on social media 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 Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol riots, after he was accused of posting messages inciting violence.
TMTG has pledged to deliver an “engaging and censorship-free experience” on Truth Social, appealing to a base that feels its views around such hot-button topics such as the outcome of the 2020 presidential election have been scrubbed from mainstream tech platforms.
News of Google‘s approval was first reported by Axios.
—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