Trump’s social media venture is still struggling to get off the ground

But as March has come and gone, Nunes’s prediction that Truth Social could be accessed by “anyone” “within the United States at any time” appears to have backfired. The app itself continues to be plagued with issues including a long queue and lack of content.

Truth Social and Trump Media and Technology Group, the app’s parent, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After topping the app store rankings upon its official launch on Presidents Day, Truth Social has dropped to 35th among social networking apps, according to data from market research firm SensorTower. The Twitter clone has frustrated many would-be users, some of whom have taken to the iOS app store to complain. (Truth Social does not yet appear to offer a version for Android devices in Google’s official app store.)

“Was on the waitlist with a registered username since launch day,” one reviewer wrote on Truth Social’s download page last week. “I’m not too excited about how my voice can’t be heard after the promises made.”

A test account created by CNN also remains on the waiting list of hundreds of thousands, although another CNN test account gained access to the platform in mid-March.

Trump himself has been remarkably silent on Truth Social. He posted a single “truth” in February encouraging his followers to “Get ready! Your favorite president of his will see you soon!” But he hasn’t posted since. Compared to Twitter, where Trump had 88.3 million followers just before he was banned in 2021, the former president had just 835,000 followers on Truth Social as of early April.

In an apparent effort to churn out content, Truth Social also appears to have created automated accounts implying they represent major brands, but the connections may be more tenuous than at first glance.

One section of the app lists a number of recommended profiles for users to follow, including @NFL, @NASCAR, @NASA and even @wallstreetbets, the Reddit community that helped drive meme stocks into the national conversation last year. past.

However, despite bearing the logos and identifiers of those entities, profiles are often little more than automated feeds for unaffiliated content. A button at the top of the profiles identifies them as bots, and tapping the button brings up a message warning users that official-looking accounts simply pull content from third-party RSS feeds and are “not managed by or affiliated with the bot.” referenced user”. news media”.

The NASCAR account, for example, does not post original content but instead automatically posts links to stories on motorsport.com; @NASA does the same with stories on space.com, while the @NFL account posts links to espn.com.

It’s unclear if many of the organizations named have had a role in managing the accounts or were aware of profiles using their names and logos in the new app. Spokespeople for NASA and NASCAR did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“This is not affiliated with the NFL,” Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the National Football League, told CNN when asked about the account. “We will decline to comment.”

A spokesperson for the official wallstreetbets community on Reddit told CNN that Truth Social “proactively contacted us to let us know that they were running the account as an RSS feed under our subreddit name.”

Truth Social “offered to hand over the account should we want to run it ourselves, which we appreciated but ultimately declined,” the spokesperson continued. “We appreciate your proactive approach, but a fundamental tenet of our community is to remain apolitical.”

In addition to an apparent dearth of content, Truth Social has acknowledged some difficulties with technical issues.

In emails sent to waitlists last month, Truth Social promised that its teams were “working around the clock to enable everyone to join us as quickly as possible,” emphasizing that a “phased implementation It allows us to identify and correct errors in real time as we add new users.”

The welcome emails that got people off the waiting list have been quick to remind users that “we’re a new platform and we’re still working out a lot of bugs in our technology” and that the company is “working as hard as we can.” to make things better.” as fast as possible.”

However, on Monday, a Reuters report suggested that Truth Social may have trouble retaining talent. The media outlet, citing unnamed sources, reported that the app’s chief technology officer and head of product development had resigned from the company.

Amid the ongoing troubles, shares in Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special-purpose acquisition company that intends to turn Truth Social’s parent company into a publicly traded company, have fallen 35% from the days after the launch of the application.

Clare Duffy contributed to this report.

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