A mysterious social media app appears to be luring people around $ 4.99 a week to access the app while claiming Donald Trump is on the platform.
The ex-president has now hit the company with a cease-and-desist declaration, the post has learned. The letter calls for the app to stop using the image of President Trump.
The app called 2nd1st is available in the Apple App Store and describes itself as a place for “uncensored messages and chat”.
In addition to Trump, the app offers profiles of conservative personalities such as the Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Rand Paul as well as the former “The View” presenter Meghan McCain.
It’s not clear if any of these people actually use the platform. After The Post contacted a source close to Trump for the story, lawyers on the ex-president’s team sent the cease and desist letter.
2nd1st’s entry in the Apple App Store prominently features a screenshot of a fake post by Trump. It’s actually a copied and pasted version of a Jan. 8 tweet that Trump – on Twitter, not Jan.
The tweet was from Twitter in his. quoted blog entry on why Trump banned it for alleged incitement to violence.
The app also has a profile page for Trump with dozens of other posts – although ex-president spokeswoman Liz Harrington confirmed to The Post that he doesn’t use the platform.
Since Trump was booted off mainstream social media in January, a number of platforms geared towards free expression have emerged to woo the president and his millions of followers.
Gettr, a Twitter alternative from former Trump adviser Jason Miller, is urge the ex-president to join the platform, among other things by allegedly offering him equity. Another hands-free app, Parler, has also courted Trump.
But while Trump has so far refused to join other new social media platforms, 2nd1st shows that companies are trying to overcome his absence from Facebook and Twitter.
When users download 2nd1st, they are shown videos of Trump rallies and prompted to sign up for expensive subscriptions that automatically renew every week.
“We mustn’t give in to advertisers or break off culture,” it says on the welcome screen of the 2nd1st app. “Start with the 3-day free trial, then $ 4.99 / week.”
Other users were being charged $ 9.99 a week or more, according to the listings on the App Store.
Apple doesn’t disclose how much money apps are making through its store, but 2nd1st currently has 2,800 reviews on the app store. Conservatively estimated, if all 2,800 reviewers were to spend over $ 4.99 per week, 2nd1st would make around $ 728,000 per year.
2nd1st has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars in the App Store. But some people’s reviews are complaining about the automatic rebilling of payments – and the cost of the service.
“I hate this app and I want it to go away forever,” scolded one reviewer.
“The owner only uses the current situation to earn money … you are as bad as Pelosi!” Raged another.
In the cease and desist letter sent to 2nd1st by Trump’s team, lawyers for the ex-president accused the app of violating “numerous state and federal embezzlement and disclosure laws,” according to a copy of The. split letter post.
“Specifically, the profile of 2.” The unauthorized use of President Donald J. Trump’s name, picture, and likeness by 2nd1st is likely to result in individuals believing that President Trump approved, sponsored, or approved what such a motion would be he doesn’t. “
The letter was sent on September 30th, giving the company two days to “informally resolve this matter.” It threatened to take further “legal steps” if necessary. As of Tuesday, the picture and profile of Trump remained on 2.1. Trump’s team did not appear to have taken any further action.
While 2nd1st appears to have cashed thousands of dollars from disgruntled Conservatives, it is unclear who exactly is pocketing the money.
2nd1st’s App Store page states that it is published by a company called Howly Inc., which runs the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records Show is based in Wichita, Kansas.
Documents filed by the company with the Kansas Secretary of State list a registered agent at an address in Wichita. It appears to be a mall with a Dunkin ’Donuts, SuperCuts and PostNet shipping center. It seems likely that the company is using a registered agent service that uses a mailbox in the shipping center as its official address.
State records with the company’s articles of association list a “Shyam Sawant” as a director in the company established in May 2019.
Buzzfile, a database of company information, too Lists Howly’s address is Wichita Mall. It said the company’s CEO was “Shaym Sawant” and lists a phone number with a New York City area code.
Calls to the number were not answered, and public records from The Post show that no one named Shyam Sawant lives in the United States. However, there are 30+ LinkedIn profiles for people in India named Shayam Sawant. Howly is not mentioned in any, so it is not clear whether any of the individuals are associated with the company.
Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether 2nd1st is violating the company’s rules.