Truth Social, former President Donald Trump’s new social media platform, quickly topped free downloads on the Apple App Store after its soft launch in February. Since then, hundreds of thousands of potential users have been stuck on a waitlist and Trump has been asking associates: “What the f*** is going on?”
A pair of sources familiar with the platform’s launch told The Daily Beast that Trump – who essentially announced another White House run in recent speeches, including on Saturday – has publicly shrugged off a shoddy rollout while privately cursing and questioning why the app isn’t more popular.
Last week, Truth Social said it “resolved the performance bottlenecks with new user registration and validation, and [is] working through the new user waitlist at an accelerated rate”.
A MassLive reporter who signed up for an account before the soft launch remains in a waitlist that exceeds 390,000 users, if Truth Social’s figures are accurate. Several users have shared screenshots over social media suggesting the waitlist could be more than 1 million people.
Trump told reporters and visitors to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference last week that the launch remained ongoing, and that people are “loving the product... we’re getting a voice”, The Daily Beast reported.
On Saturday night, after The Daily Beast’s story and reports by Politico, The New York Post and others about the lack of posts on the site – including by Trump himself – Truth Social emailed a “waitlist update” to “truthsayers” yet to be able to log on.
“We are steadily welcoming new users from our temporary waitlist onto Truth Social for iOS,” Trump Media & Technology Group said. “This phased rollout allows us to identify and remedy errors in real time as we onboard new users.”
The company said it’s building a platform “to take on Big Tech, but in a fraction of the time”.
“Consequently, we need to ensure the platform remains stable and provides users with the best experience possible,” the group added.
Truth Social was first announced in October.
“TRUTH Social is America’s ‘Big Tent’ social media platform that encourages an open, free and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology,” its website claimed.
Former US Rep. Devin Nunes, a Trump ally who tried to sue Twitter and users for defamation after parody accounts insulted him, resigned from Congress in December to serve as the company’s CEO.
Nunes and other Republicans allege that Twitter “shadow bans” GOP users’ accounts while boosting Republican opponents; Twitter has long denied the accusations.
Though the creators heavily emphasise the importance of free speech and “cancelling cancel culture”, Truth Social’s terms of service force users to agree not to “disparage, tarnish or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site”.
For more on the platform and Trump’s previous social media efforts, read here.
Truth Social’s creators openly bash the tech giants that banned Trump last year. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube stripped Trump of his popular accounts and accused him of glorifying and inciting violence that threatened democracy when he repeated false claims that the 2020 election was rigged and praised the mob attacking the US Capitol on Jan 6, 2021.
As of March 6, Truth Social is 105th in Apple App Store’s top free apps chart.
In a speech to about 250 Republican donors in New Orleans on Saturday, Trump claimed he’d already won two White House bids.
“And now I feel obligated that we have to really look strongly at doing it again,” he said. “We are looking at it very, very strongly. We have to do it. We have to do it.” – masslive.com/Tribune News Service