Monday, 4 April 2022
Trump’s Truth Social Is Doing Even Worse Than You Thought
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
The app that Donald Trump once hoped would avenge his exile from social media and make him a MAGA Mark Zuckerberg has instead plummeted to the 28th most popular social media platform in Apple’s App Store, lagging behind the likes of more obscure social networks like “Wizz,” “BeReal,” and “Bloomer-random video chat.”
Soon after the start of the “soft launch” of his social media company Truth Social in late February, Donald Trump grew deeply annoyed with the anemic growth and the lackluster rollout of the website. Though Trump and his team were expecting the new app to be a huge hit with his political base, the site was handily trounced in recent weeks by competitor MAGA social networks, including one that caters primarily to neo-Nazis.
But this month, the situation has only gotten worse for Trump’s latest large-scale business venture, according to data analyses reviewed by The Daily Beast, and sources close to Trump say he has recently complained about the low-energy activity on the app and appears disengaged from trying to turn the platform around, much less post on it.
Download data shared by the analytics firm Apptopia shows that downloads of the app have plummeted from a peak of 170,000 downloads a day to just 8,000 now. The app is now just the 355th most popular app on Apple devices overall. And those who have downloaded it don’t seem to be using it that much.
Daily active users—a metric that social media and tech companies use to measure how many engaged users an app has—stood at just 513,000 as of last week. By contrast, daily active users at Twitter—Trump’s erstwhile and beloved social media home—were around 217 million, according to the company’s last quarterly earnings report.
Trump and Truth Social officials have presented the launch of the platform with plenty of caveats. In a speech at a Conservative Political Action Committee event, Trump himself said the company is rolling out the app “very slowly”—the app has been only available via a waiting list and even then only in Apple’s AppStore.
Donald Trump Can’t Stop Whining About His Failing Social Media App
But that soft launch has come with a series of technical glitches and user complaints. Former Rep. Devin Nunes, who retired from Congress to take a job as the leader of Trump Media and Technology Group, Truth Social’s parent company, had promised in February that the app would be fully up and running by the end of March.
But users have repeatedly complained about error messages and a convoluted registration process that has left even diehard MAGA fans frustrated. “I’ve been waiting for this. It’s finally released, and it doesn’t work,” one user wrote in an AppStore review.
Spokespeople for Trump and Truth Social did not provide comment for this story.
As The Daily Beast reported early last month, the twice-impeached former president has in the past several weeks privately fumed about the blisteringly negative media coverage of the app’s rollout and number of users and visitors. “What the fuck is going on?” Trump was repeatedly heard snapping into his phone, demanding to know why Truth Social wasn’t a runaway success.
The former president had wished the website, which was backed by big money and significant partnerships, would be another tool for bringing in revenue, and yet another way to help keep Trump relevant and constantly in the national conversation. Trump also hoped Truth Social would help him achieve his fully realized vengeance against his supposedly Trump-hating, Big Tech adversaries.
Instead, less than two months into the launch, Trump has all but given up on his own high-profile MAGA app, and has barely even touched his personal account on Truth Social. According to people familiar with the matter, Trump continued throughout the rest of March to sporadically complain about how poorly his website was performing.
One person who’s known the ex-president for years said that when Truth Social was recently brought up with Trump in a relaxed social setting, the former president instead kept rambling on about Hunter Biden’s laptop.
In a statement accompanying the announcement of TruthSocial in October 2021, Trump declared himself “excited” for the opportunity “to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soo” and “begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH Social and to fight back against Big Tech.” So far, however, Trump has only posted once on the app with yet another tease that “Your favorite President will see you soon!”
Asked by The Daily Beast why the ex-president wasn’t prolifically using the app himself these days, another source—who has spoken to Trump about his floundering social-media company in the past few weeks—simply replied, “He wants it to be a hit first.”
It is not, currently, a hit by reasonable and objective metrics.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
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