Truth Social App: The Twitter, Trump, and Musk Controversy

The former US president, Donald Trump, released a new social app that ‘follows the truth’. The now owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, says this ‘terrible name exists’ because Twitter censored free speech. Elon doesn’t seem happy about this new app as it now ranks above Twitter – while users of the Truth Social App also do not seem very pleased with the app that bans ‘curse’ words. This, and more, we’ll unveil in this post. Keep on reading.

It all started when Twitter started to permanently ban some big political names, including Donald Trump. Twitter’s censorship was suppressing political voices. And the free speech advocator, Elon Musk, just bought Twitter at $44 billion USD – and right after that, this new Truth Social app surged in App Store’s ranking, as #1.

The self-proclaimed free speech lover, Musk, noted the spike of this new app as it beat Twitter and TikTok in a surprisingly short time. He then, in reaction to that, tweets:

“Truth Social is currently beating Twitter & TikTok on the Apple Store. Truth Social (terrible name) exists because Twitter censored free speech”.

Even though now Musk, an advocate of free speech, now owns Twitter, the former US president said he would still not rejoin Twitter, even after being invited back. Instead, he insisted on using his own Truth Social network, which after severe setback, has now finally seen raging popularity.

Now the blockbuster deal is on hold by Musk because he wants the details of fake accounts and bots.

Why Truth Social Media App Exists

So the story goes back to 2021. Donald Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter. So, in October, he started his own tech company, Trump Media and Technology Groups. The app was later launched in Feb, 2022. And surprisingly it lacked the expected user-base, mainly because of the App’s interface.

However, in the recent upgrades, thousands of residents were able to sign up – even so much so that they had a long waitlist.

The idea behind this new app was to promote free speech, where users could express and conversate their political and social beliefs without being barred. Truth Social app was marketed like this since it was launched – an ‘uncensored’ alternate version of Facebook and Twitter.

Even in his statements, Trump said that this new social network ‘gives voice to all’ and ‘fights back against the big tech’.

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Truth Social App Review: What the app is like?

For now, the app is only launched in the US and Canada, where it’s beating Twitter in ranking, as more and more people are signing up. And as more and more people are leaving Twitter – because people are still speculating what would be the future of Twitter now.

Europe has also warned Musk that ‘being too lax on the moderation may result in Twitter’s ban in Europe or may result in at least a 6% annual revenue fine.’

As far as Truth Social is concerned, despite its unbeatable hype, the social network is still having a rocky start. After analyzing reviews from the bigger publications and some individual users, here are some key points so far about the app:

  • The platform is still organic for now. You won’t see or may rarely see any sponsored content or ads.
  • Engagement on the platform is still low, except for big names or influencers.
  • The app is a replica of Twitter.
  • Most of the posts are political. And that too Trump supporters. You’ll rarely see normal conversations or even if there are such posts, they get little to no engagement.
  • There are no strict community guidelines, except obvious rules of not posting illegal and piratol stuff. People are posting whatever they want. Which might create a lot of noise, making it hard to find specific communities, people, or posts.
  • There were some glitches. The search box could not find any matching ‘truths’ for some words. Even as popular as ‘COVID’.
  • For now, it seems that Truth Social doesn’t allow f-words and pornographic content, which may feel ironic to certain communities as this app supports freedom of speech, but is still stricter than Twitter. Censorship is still inconsistent though.“Twitter’s become very boring. They’ve gotten rid of many good voices on Twitter, a lot of their conservative voices.”

The rising popularity of the app is because of Musk buying Twitter. Trump said: “Twitter’s become very boring. They’ve gotten rid of many good voices on Twitter, a lot of their conservative voices.” The downloads of the Truth Social have now reached approx. 1.4 million. However, the existing UI needs improvement and there needs to be some clear guidelines. For now, the users of the app only seem pro-Trumps. We’ll see how far this fight of free speech goes, and we’ll also see what changes Musk may bring to the Twitter guidelines. Stay connected for upcoming stories.

How can you download Truth Social App?

Truth Social App is only available to US residents. If you’re an iPhone user, simply search for Truth Social App on the App Store, and Get It.

Truth Social is still not available for PC and Android.

Some Interesting Statistics, If Numbers Interest You

Elon Musk’s tweets analysis of the whole decade. Source

Year Number of Tweets Busiest Months of the Year
2011 42 December (42)
2012 270 May (36)
2013 422 May (118)
2014 189 April (36)
2015 617 October (132)
2016 736 July (126)
2017 1,162 December (197)
2018 2,288 May (384)
2019 2,933 April (373)
2020 3,367 July (446)
2021 3,113 July (402)

Twitter’s Daily Active Users’ Chart

Old, but an interesting survey:

Twitter’s Daily Active Users’ Chart

Source: Recode

Truth Social App Number of Downloads by Now

Here’s a graphical representation of the former president’s app, Truth Social, total number of downloads between week 8 to 16, since its launch – in the US only.

Truth Social App Number of Downloads by Now

Source: Statistica

Find more to this Elon-Musk, Trump, and Truth story in our recent updates.

Eli Overbey

Elioverbey is a Hillman professor of information science and human-machine emeritus at Carnegie Mellon University. Elioverbey has a broad interest in design technology and social effects, spanning from computer-based teamwork and computer-assisted collaborative research to human-robot interaction.
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