It was about a year ago when the Associated Press reported that Donald Trump was preparing to launch a social-media platform, to compete with the existing tech giants that expelled him for violating their terms of service. Jason Miller said at the time that the former president was poised to “completely redefine the game” with his new tech initiative.
As regular readers probably recall, the game was not redefined: The Republican soon after launched a rudimentary blog, utilizing technology that’s existed for many years. Less than a month after its launch, the website was permanently scrapped — due to lack of reader interest.
Undeterred, the former president and his team launched the Trump Media & Technology Group last fall with bold multimedia ambitions: The TMTG said it would compete with both Twitter and Netflix. The company even hired a high-profile CEO: Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes resigned from Congress to lead the nascent company.
And how’s that working out? Politico reported on the TMTG’s latest troubles.
Top executives from Former President Donald Trump’s social media venture, Truth Social, have departed the company as the site has struggled to gain traction with users. Three top executives quit Truth Social, including chief technology officer, Josh Adams and Billy Boozer, the head of the company’s product development, and chief legal officer, Lori Heyer-Bednar, according to two people familiar with the matter. Reuters first reported the departures of Adams and Boozer.
Adams’ departure is of particular interest. Reuters’ report noted that he served as one of Truth Social’s chiefs of technology and product development, and insiders consider his decision to part ways with the venture as a major development. “If Josh has left ... all bets are off,” one source told Reuters referring to Adams, calling him the “brains” behind Truth Social’s technology.
Wait, it gets worse. Reuters’ report added:
Downloads of the Truth Social app have declined precipitously, from 866,000 installations the week of its launch to 60,000 the week of March 14, according to estimates from data analytics firm Sensor Tower. The firm estimates the Truth Social app has been downloaded 1.2 million times in all, trailing far behind rival conservative apps Parler and Gettr at 11.3 million and 6.8 million installations, respectively.
It doesn’t help that Truth Social has been plagued by what Politico described as “persistent tech glitches” since its launch.
As for the content users actually discover by way of the venture, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank managed to get an account, and after overcoming Truth Social’s tech problems, the columnist “found a small clump of angry people shouting into a void.”
Adding insult to injury, Truth Social said it expected a “fully operational” service by the end of March — which is to say, last week — but at this point, even Trump isn’t using Trump’s social media venture.
In the meantime, there are ongoing questions about who and what are responsible for the Trump Media & Technology Group’s financing, which has reportedly drawn the interest of investigators at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Spare a thought for Nunes as these developments unfold. The California Republican was poised to lead the House Ways and Means Committee — one of the most sought after jobs in Congress — but he gave it all up to lead the Trump Media & Technology Group. It now appears that was unwise.
Politico’s report added that the former president is “frustrated” and “upset” with the state of his social media venture. Of course, if Trump were a successful corporate titan, he’d no doubt be able to turn the operation around. But since he only pretends to be a successful corporate titan, it seems Truth Social is in trouble.