Trump’s Truth Party is the most popular on social media. Everything you need to know AppleApp Store

 Trump's Truth Party is the most popular on social media.  Everything you need to know AppleApp Store

Trump has only posted once on Truth Social but his followers have been growing. Truth Social had a buggy rollout but still topped Apple’s charts for free apps during the week of its release in February. It fell in popularity before returning to a spot on Apple’s charts, surpassing apps such as Twitter and short-form video service TikTok. Some people who downloaded the app were greeted with error messages when they tried to create an account, while others were placed on a lengthy waitlist.

Since its introduction in February, the social media app has been beset by issues. During the week that Elon Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion, Donald Trump’s new social media network Truth Social topped Apple’s free app charts. The agreement announced on Monday has spurred speculation about whether the former US president, who was banned from Twitter permanently in 2021, will be able to return. On Monday, Trump told Fox News that he had no plans to return to Twitter and will instead use Truth Social.

Highlights

  • The app could have given Trump, who was booted from Twitter and Facebook last year, a new social media megaphone. Still, Truth Social’s audience is much smaller than platforms like Facebook and Twitter that have been around for years. Trump had 89 million followers on Twitter and 34 million followers on Facebook. On Truth Social, he has 1.7 million followers.

  • Two months after its launch, Truth Social remains plagued with problems. People are still waiting to get into the app despite Truth Social’s goal to make the platform fully operational. In addition, Reuters reported in April, executives Josh Adams and Billy Boozer, who led technology and product development at Truth Social, have left the company.

Why did Trump launch his own social media app? Tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter made the rare move last year to bar Trump, a sitting president, from its services because of concerns his remarks would incite more violence after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots. Trump used these social networks to push baseless claims of election fraud after Joe Biden won the 2020 US presidential election.

“What makes Truth Social different!? We are a social media platform that is free from political discrimination,” reads the app’s description. Social media companies have long denied allegations that they intentionally censor conservative speech, noting that they have rules against hate speech and inciting violence. The Trump Media & Technology Group, or TMTG, which launched Truth Social, didn’t respond to a request for comment. App analytics firm SensorTower estimates Truth Social has been installed 1.4 million times.

When these companies suspended Trump, the former US president also lost his ability to reach millions of people. In October, TMGT announced it would launch a new social network, called Truth Social, that would roll out in the first quarter of 2022. “I created Truth Social and TMGT to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” Trump said in a press release.

Trump has reportedly complained about the buggy rollout and why more people aren’t using the app, The Daily Beast reported in March. He still hasn’t shared anything new on the app since his first post two months ago but told Fox News on Monday he plans to start using the app over the next week. The app’s design looks like a clone of Twitter. Users can create a profile that shows who they’re following. You’re able to comment, share and like posts, which are called Truths. The app includes a feed so you can read posts from other followers. Users can also share photos, news stories and video links. There’s direct messaging, a dark mode and notifications as well.

“There is no better sign of a rushed implementation than the fact that you can’t onboard anybody. So I’m hard-pressed to understand why anyone would trust that these people would keep their information safe,” Bill Fitzgerald, a privacy researcher, told The Washington Post.