Truth Social launched in late February for a limited number of users.
It was to be fully operational at the end of March.
But this is far from the case, and Donald Trump is still not active there.
Two officials have recently resigned, and the former American president is fuming.
Donald Trump had promised a platform to "fight against the tyranny of the tech giants".
But six weeks after its "soft launch" to a limited audience, its Truth Social network, which was to be "fully operational" at the end of March, is sinking into the depths of Apple's app store and is counting on just over a million users.
So much so that Donald Trump himself does not use it yet.
And if the social network of the former president, banned by Twitter after the assault on the Capitol, can still straighten the situation, the departure of two executives, in particular of its chief technology officer, revealed by Reuters, sows doubt.
Blocked waiting list
After registering the day after the launch, on February 23, the verdict falls: “Due to massive demand, we have placed you on the waiting list.
A classic strategy to create buzz in Silicon Valley, with apps that often use a system of exclusive invitations or waiting lists, the time to hunt for bugs.
Except that six weeks later, nothing has changed.
Worse, our position even fell by 80,000 places.
And if an e-mail to the press officer allowed us to cut the line, the general public does not benefit from this luxury.
For a new registration on Monday, the virtual queue now included 1.5 million people.
93% drop in downloads
After the initial buzz, downloads plummeted 93% in the iOS app store, according to Sensor Tower figures.
There's still no Android version, and Truth Social hasn't answered our email questions about when the network will be fully operational.
The former elected Devin Nunes, who took the head of the Trump Media & Technology Group, on which Truth Social depends, had assured that this would be the case at the end of March.
Downloads of Truth Social, Donald Trump's network, have plunged 93% in the iOS app store, according to Sensor Tower, from 872,000 installs during the week of the launch at the end of February to 60,000 currently over 7 days.
— Philippe Berry (@ptiberry) April 5, 2022
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Six weeks after launch, it's still impossible to send private messages or create lists.
For the moment, there is no “trending” section to spot topics that are rising like on Twitter and Facebook, or even on the conservative networks Gab and Gettr.
Donald Trump is not active
Your favorite president will find you soon, ”swore Donald Trump at the end of February.
Since then, radio silence, because “the network is not ready for prime time”, indicated a close adviser to the former American president at the
Currently, the former tenant of the White House has 843,000 followers on Truth Social, against 88.7 million on Twitter when he was banned, or less than 1%.
Few personalities present
Upon registration, Truth Social offers about 50 accounts to follow.
Donald Trump, of course, but also his sons Eric and Don Jr, as well as Fox News host Sean Hannity.
The rest seem to target a male MAGA audience with accounts of gun enthusiasts or "sexy girls playing golf."
Most conservative influencers, including Tucker Carlson, Candace Owens, Ben Shapiro, Glenn Beck or Mike Cernovich, are absent from the network.
There are few elected officials there, with the exception of Republican House boss Kevin McCarthy and controversial Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose personal account was suspended by Twitter last January.
On the other hand, parody accounts abound, with fake Hunter Biden, Nancy Pelosi or Anthony Fauci.
Misinformation and lack of moderation
With all that, it's bleak on the side of the flow of "Truths" and ReTruths.
Many accounts recycle their messages or articles shared on Twitter.
Discussions on current topics remain limited: the hashtag #Trump indicates that 1,850 people debate it, against 1,606 for #Ukraine, 254 for #Obama (who was in the White House on Tuesday), 74 for #Zelensky and only 22 for #Bucha.
At present, moderation seems limited or even non-existent.
Even if Truth Social can, according to the charter, delete “false, inaccurate or misleading” contributions (in addition to violent, racist or pornographic content), misinformation abounds, between QAnon conspiracy, Kremlin propaganda and vaccine-skeptical theses: Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are working to “eliminate the Nazi world order”, Hunter Biden funded “biolabs” in Ukraine, and the Covid vaccine is causing “an explosion of cancers” (no link has been established ).
Earlier this year, Devin Nunes said Truth Social would accept "diverse opinions".
But the network cannot give free rein to its users under penalty of being sanctioned: at the beginning of 2021, Apple and Google had excluded the Talking app from their app stores after the multiplication of messages "inciting violence".
This is the paradox of Truth Social: Donald Trump dreams of freeing himself from Gafa but needs them more than ever.
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