As Truth Social is branded ‘massive failure’ and ‘disaster’, what went wrong for Trump’s new platform?

Nearly 1.5 million people are reportedly unable to use the platform

Vishwam Sankaran
Monday 04 April 2022 16:43 BST
Trump’s ‘Truth Social’ Launches Amid User Issues

Donald Trump’s social media platform has been dubbed a “disaster” by critics as daily downloads declined nearly 95 per cent since its February launch, new reports suggested.

After the former US president was banned from most social media networks, including Twitter and Facebook, in the aftermath of the Capitol riots on 6 January 2021, he announced the launch of Truth Social as a new platform where he would engage with his supporters.

Even following its launch in February, Truth Social has remained an app most people could not use due to its long waiting list, according to reports. Nearly 1.5 million people were reportedly unable to use it.

Several users have complained on Twitter that it has taken weeks for them to be granted access to the app, and Mr Trump himself has not posted a single “truth” on the app in over a month.

Popular left-wing blogger Majid Padellan has called the app a “massive failure”.

“Now that Truth Social is a massive failure, where will conservatives say they’re leaving to go to without ever actually leaving?” Mr Padellan, better known for his candid political voice under the username BrooklynDad_Defiant!, said on Twitter.

Last week analysts from the tech company Sensor Tower found that Truth Social has seen a drop of almost 810,000 users since its launch on 21 February.

The analysis showed that the app had over 870,000 installs in its first week, and as little as 60,000 more recently.

“It’s been a disaster,” Joshua Tucker, director of NYU’s Centre for Social Media and Politics, told the BBC.

“This is down 93 per cent from its launch week, when it saw 872,000 installs during the week of Feb. 21,” Stephanie Chan, a mobile insights strategist, told The Wrap.

It isn’t among the top 100 downloaded apps, according to Similar Web.

“We estimate that Truth Social has so far reached approximately 1.2 million installs since its launch,” Ms Chan added.

While the platform has blamed “millions of millions” of people signing up last month as the reason why many users still haven’t yet been able to gain access, some experts say this figure is disputed.

“Not millions and millions, I just signed up half-hour ago and its barely over 1M. The count in the email validation was under 1M,” one user Tweeted on 3 March.

Shares of the firm bringing the social media venture into the public domain are also reportedly sinking with declining downloads.

After rising briefly late February, shares in the platform’s main acquisition company, Digital World Acquisition Corp, shed 31 per cent of its value, Bloomberg reported last week.

The app is also not available yet for Android users, and once it is released for this group, it may potentially see more downloads.

With Mr Trump not posting on Truth Social in over a month, some experts say that the app will see more downloads if he becomes more active on the platform. Mr Trump has 750,000 followers on the app.

“Maybe they’re holding him back. That’s his last chance to launch it - when suddenly Trump comes in and starts being really active on it, that will get a buzz,” Mr Tucker said.

The Independent has reached out to the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), the parent company of Truth Social, for comment.

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