Trump’s Truth Social Still Off to a Bumpy Start: Everything You Need to Know | #socialmedia

Truth Social became available for download on Apple’s App Store in February. 

Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

When former US President Donald Trump launched a new social media platform in February, the app had a buggy rollout but still topped Apple’s charts for free apps during the week of its release.


Trump has been growing his following on Truth Social.

Screenshot by Queenie Wong/CNET

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. 

More than a month 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. On Monday, Reuters also reported that executives Josh Adams and Billy Boozer, who led technology and product development at Truth Social, have left the company.

Since its launch, the Truth Social app has fallen in popularity. As of Monday, Truth Social is no longer on Apple’s charts for free apps but is No. 34 in the social networking category. 

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 842,000 followers. 

“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 immediately respond to a request for comment.

App analytics firm SensorTower said Monday that Truth Social has seen about 1.3 million installs since its launch in February. Last week, Truth Social was installed about 36,000 times, down 12% week over week, according to preliminary estimates from SensorTower.

Here’s what you need to know about Truth Social:

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.

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 more than a month ago.

How does Truth Social work?

Truth Social's look

Truth Social’s design looks like Twitter’s.

Screenshot by Queenie Wong/CNET

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.

Is Truth Social just for conservatives?

Even though conservatives have been moving to alternatives outside of Facebook and Twitter such as Parler and Gettr, Truth Social doesn’t describe itself as an app for conservatives. 

The app’s description says it has a “big tent” approach, and it describes an outdoor event tent at a wedding filled with libertarians, conservatives and liberals. 

“Although we don’t always agree with each other, we welcome these varied opinions and the robust conversation they bring,” the description says. 

To use the app, you do have to be at least 18 years old. 

Can you say anything you want on Truth Social?

No. Like other social networks, the app has rules users agree to when they accept the app’s terms of service.

One section, called prohibited activities, outlines everything users agree not to do. That includes tricking, defrauding or misleading the company and other users “especially in any attempt to learn sensitive account information such as user passwords” and filing “false reports of abuse or misconduct.”

You also aren’t allowed to impersonate other users or use any information obtained from the app to “harass, abuse or harm another person.” In some cases, Truth Social’s rules are more strict than Twitter’s. For example, Twitter allows users to post pornography if the content is marked as sensitive, but Truth Social says sexual content or language isn’t allowed.

User-generated content also can’t be false, inaccurate or misleading or include threats of violence, according to Truth Social’s terms of service. Apps such as Facebook and Twitter have similar rules, but users have disagreed with how the companies interpreted their policies. 

I downloaded Truth Social, but I can’t log in. Why?

Truth Social app account created

Some people were placed on a lengthy waitlist to access Truth Social. 

Getty Images

TMTG didn’t respond to questions about the app’s status, but the app has been experiencing glitches and errors. An account for Truth Social support posted on Monday that a new version is now available that fixes bugs and improves performances.

Users are still reporting that they’re on a waitlist.

The app’s rocky rollout also sparked concerns from privacy researchers.

“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.

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