It seems not even Trump really cares about the Truth.
Truth Social, Trump’s Twitter clone, is a pretty sorry little website
Time to Log Off is a weekly series documenting the many ways our political figures show their whole asses online.
There’s a pretty strong case to be made that — for better or worse — former President Donald Trump single-handedly altered the way politicians use social media platforms as their primary means of communication. Given the undeniable influence which he exerted on Facebook (until he was banned), Twitter (until he was booted), and YouTube (until he was 86’d), you might expect Trump to have an innate understanding of how to apply that same energy and excitement to his personal foray into the business side of the social media sphere.
Folks ... no, he does not.
After a series of abortive starts, missed deadlines, and technical, shall we say, difficulties, Trump’s long-ballyhooed Truth Social officially, actually, finally launched late last month. To date the results have been underwhelming to say the least.
As Politico noted this week, the app has largely managed to land with a resounding splat, to the extent that anyone really notices (or, at least, acknowledges) that it exists to begin with. Attendees at the recent CPAC conference for aspiring fascists barely mentioned Truth Social at their annual conclave, despite it being ground zero for the most fanatical Trump fans on Earth. Trump himself, unquestionably the app’s primary draw, has only used it once, and currently enjoys just a few hundred thousand followers — a far cry from the tens of millions he banked on in his Twitter days.
That is a good portion of the problem, it seems. Truth Social seems entirely predicated on Trump’s presence. Beyond that, it’s nothing more than a transparent Twitter-clone, but without Twitter’s robust — and crucially, diverse — user base. Instead, the platform seems mainly populated by a small segment of Trump loyalists for whom his mere name was enough to draw them from the other, pre-existing conservative-centric networks, like the much larger (but still comparatively small) GETTR, which just so happens to be run by a cadre of former Trump associates. While there is a waitlist of aspiring Truth Social-ers, it’s only several hundred thousand people long, Politico reported, adding that a host of the former president’s most high-profile sycophants aren’t on the site yet, either.
So, they’ve left it up to Trump’s drawing power alone to bring in new users ... or not. Ultimately, I guess, you can only cannibalize your fanbase so many times before there’s no one left to chew on.
That uniformity in the user base poses another problem for Truth Social, as it robs the app of the sort of dynamism that comes with a varied set of opinions and content. Without that essential friction, the whole experience lacks a sense of fun or purpose: “You can’t get ratioed when everyone is on your side,” one GOP strategist succinctly explained to Politico.
While the app is officially still in what it claimed to be a soft launch period, and could very well ramp up its productivity in the future, Truth Social’s “meh” debut is hardly surprising in retrospect, given its founder’s career-long tendency to flub just about every business venture he’s been a part of. Innate social media prowess or not, Trump is simply not that good at actually starting businesses. With that in mind, perhaps he — and the rest of the Truth Social team — should do themselves, and the rest of us, a favor and just log off.