On President’s Day, former President Donald Trump launched Truth Social, a new Trump-backed social media app, in Apple’s App Store. Initially, it was only available to subscribers who pre-ordered the app, says the Associated Press. Others who are on a waiting list will get access in the next 10 days, and Truth Social will be made more widely available next month. There is no word on when, or if, an Android version will be made available.
Truth Social, whose tagline is “follow the truth,” seems to be resonating with Trump’s target audience already. AP reports that Trump had 12,000 followers on Monday. And, as of yesterday, Truth Social was the top free app in the U.S. yesterday, followed by Wordle! and HBO Max, according to data.ai, formerly App Annie.
Chris Cillizza, an editor-at-large for CNN, tried creating an account to see what all the buzz was about. After creating a user account, he got an error message:
“Thank you for joining! Due to massive demand, we have placed you on our waitlist. We love you, and you’re not just another number to us. But your waitlist number was below.”
Many media outlets have made a big deal of the technical issues that plagued the app upon its debut. The Washington Post reports that there were technical issues, a 13-hour app outage, and a waitlist of 300,000. While this was not likely the launch that Trump or his CEO, former congressman Devin Nunes of California, hoped for, it is fairly common for new apps to be overwhelmed by unexpected demand. Given the resources Trump and his companies have, this issue will likely be resolved soon, if it hasn’t already been resolved by the time we go to press.
About Truth Social
Trump started his own social media app after being banned from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube last year. Trump’s Twitter account (@realDonaldTrump), which had about 90 million followers, was permanently suspended on January 8, 2021 for violating Twitter’s rules. Of particular concern were tweets that Twitter said violated their glorification of violence policy, following the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
Looking at the screenshots posted in the App Store, Truth Social looks significantly similar to Twitter. Users create a profile and select other users to follow (or unfollow). Each profile shows the number of followers the user has and how many people they’re following. Instead of tweets, a post is called a truth. Instead of blue checkmarks, they are pink.
They can also send messages, similar to direct messages in Twitter or messages in Facebook Messenger. In the screenshot posted to the App Store, “Meta Mark” is messaging another user.
Like Twitter, Truth Social allows users to comment, share and like. The app also allows a range of content types, and it is available in dark mode.
The inevitable has finally happened. Frustrated with his inability to use social media as his pulpit and to reach his millions of followers and fans, Donald Trump created his own via Truth Social, where he can set his own rules and say what he wants, when he wants and how often he wants. The big questions are what does he want to say, who does he want to listen and what will happen if they do? When Trump is ready to speak, we’re sure he will let us know.