May 27, 2022

EXIT STAGE RIGHT: Trump’s Truth Social platform’s viability questioned after two tech execs quit

EXIT STAGE RIGHT: Trump's Truth Social platform's viability questioned after two tech execs quit

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Donald Trump’s much-vaunted social media platform — Truth Social — suffered an extreme body blow today as the company announced the departure of two key executives, technology chief Josh Adams and product development head Billy Boozer in the wake of the failure of the platform to gain traction with even the majority of die-hard Trump supporters.

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The signs that Truth Social — Trump’s petulant response to his banishment from the most popular social media platforms after his incendiary posts help lead to the January 6th insurrection — was destined to become a massive failure were evident even before the first QAnon conspiracy theory was ever posted to the technically-challenged service.

The appointment of former Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) — a noted lap-dog for the twice impeached former president when he served in the House of  Representatives before abandoning his constituents to rake in some beaucoup Trump bucks as CEO of Truth Social  — was one of the first signs that the platform was headed for ignominy.

While experienced in raising cows with undocumented workers and collaborating with Trump White House officials on smuggling intelligence reports out of the White House, Nunes has zero background in the tech industry and observers largely attributed his hiring as a form of political patronage from Trump to one of his most loyal lackeys.

The technological problems that many people faced in signing up for Truth Social when it was initially launched was another sign that the service was far from ready to technically handle the influx of exiles from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube who were ideologically aligned with Trump’s MAGA agenda. According to Reuters, to this day “many users remain on a waiting list, unable to access the platform.”

The fact that — weeks after Truth Social’s launch on February 16 of this year — there was still no Android app to access the service, despite the fact that more than 40% of phones in the United States use that Google-developed platform on their mobile phones and tablets, was yet another sign that all was not going well with this extraordinarily hyped startup.

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All of these issues — plus a sharp drop-off in both new user applications and actual user visits to the platform after its launch — indicates that the company may be in freefall and eventually suffer the same fate as other failed Trump ventures such as Trump University and Trump Steaks.

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According to Reuters:

“The exit of two executives critical to the app-launch efforts could imperil the company’s progress as it tries to prove it can compete with mainstream platforms such as Twitter, said two people familiar with the company.”

“’If Josh has left… all bets are off,’ one of those sources said of tech chief Adams, calling him the ‘brains’ behind Truth Social’s technology.”

“Another source familiar with the venture said that Boozer also had a major leadership role as product chief, running management across technology infrastructure, design and development teams.”

The departure of two top executives only adds to the turmoil is still facing over its plans to raise money through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp, a so-called off-the-shelf  “blank-check” company designed to make taking other companies public simpler. With the deal still under scrutiny by the Security and Exchange Commission and months away from potential approval, questions as to how the company is financing its continuing operations have been raised.

“Investors have pledged $1 billion to TMTG but they won’t hand over that money until the DWAC deal closes,” Reuters says, referring to the Trump Media & Technology Group, the division of the Trump organization that launched Truth Social.

Even Trump himself seems to have lost faith in his new social media venture, having failed to make a single additional post to the platform since his initial post to the platform on launch day which read:

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“Get Ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!”

With the departure of its most technically proficient and experienced executives, that promise — like so many other of Trump’s empty vows — may never be fulfilled.

Color us with schadenfreude.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Helen Coster and Julia Love at Reuters.

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Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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