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The Margin: Two Truth Social execs quit as Trump’s social media app struggles to take off: report

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So much for becoming the MAGA Mark Zuckerberg. 

Truth Social, former President Donald Trump’s conservative competitor to social media platforms like Twitter
TWTR,
+28.24%

or the Meta-owned
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+3.83%

Facebook, has struggled to gain traction since the app’s February soft launch — and now two of its key tech executives have quit, Reuters reports. 

Josh Adams and Billy Boozer, the company’s chiefs of technology and product development, have resigned their senior posts, according to Reuters’ reporting, which was drawn from several interviews of people with knowledge of Truth Social’s activities, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The news broke the same day that the Daily Beast reported Truth Social has plummeted in popularity, sinking to the 28th most popular social media platform in Apple’s
AAPL,
+1.59%

App Store, and the 355th most popular app on Apple devices overall. Monday also saw Twitter shares surging as Tesla
TSLA,
+4.37%

founder Elon Musk bought a 9.2% stake in the social media site, valued at about $3.5 billion. 

Trump first announced his signature social media venture last October, about nine months after Twitter “permanently suspended” the former president’s personal account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Facebook later suspended Trump, as well.  So Truth Social was proposed as a way for Trump supporters to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” as the former president put it in a press release.  Users can post text comments, photos and video to a Twitter-like feed. And Truth Social posts are called “truths,” with sharing posts referred to as “re-truths,” similar to “retweets” on Twitter.

When Truth Social first launched in February, it was the No. 1 most popular free app on the App Store, trumping Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and the Alphabet-owned
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+2.32%

YouTube — even as users complained about bugs and glitches that shut out potential subscribers. Data analytics firm Sensor Tower estimated that Truth Social was installed 866,000 times the week of its soft launch. It was created through a merger of the Trump Media & Technology Group and the Digital World Acquisition Corp.
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-10.34%

SPAC. Neither organization was immediately available for comment.

Read more: Trump to launch social media platform ‘Truth Social’ as part of SPAC deal

But Truth Social’s popularity has sunk since then. Sensor Tower estimated that the app was only downloaded 60,000 times the week of March 14, and that it has been downloaded 1.2 million times, all told, which is far behind fellow conservative apps including Parler (11.3 million downloads) and Gettr (6.8 million downloads.) There’s no data for Android Store downloads because Truth Social still isn’t available on Android phones, which make up more than 40% of the U.S. market. 

Analytics firm Apptopia tracked a similar pattern, telling the Daily Beast that Truth Social downloads dropped from 170,000 downloads a day at their peak to 8,000 now. And last week, the number of daily active users — which measures how many engaged users an app has — was 513,000. That’s well below the roughly 217 million daily active users that Twitter reported in its most recent quarterly earnings report

Trump himself has hardly engaged in Truth Social, either. The former POTUS has only written one post on the app, writing, “Get Ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!” on Valentine’s Day. Previous reports suggest that Trump has expressed displeasure that Truth Social hasn’t been a bigger success.

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