The more Forbes journalist John Brandon uses Truth Social, the more he realizes it’s a terrible Twitter clone.
Case in point — just try using the new web version.
Recently, the service finally launched as more than a mere landing page to register for an account. Like you could with Twitter.com more than a decade ago, it is now possible to send your “truths” out to the masses — all 500,000 of them — from a browser tab.
On the web, TruthSocial.com now lets you search for “truths” and participate in the online discourse without a phone, even if it’s all quite basic. Other than calling tweets “truths” instead, there’s nothing particularly novel or interesting about the platform.
You can also configure alerts, view your profile, and adjust a few settings. For example, you can change whether GIFs play automatically in your feed and hide sensitive material. The web interface allows you to mute and block other users, or tag them easily when you post. The web version doesn’t appear to offer a way to see direct messages, though.
Overall, it’s clean enough and simple to use, but also not at all innovative. John mentioned this before, but Truth Social looks exactly like something a developer would make if they were asked to build an app that does only the Twitter basics and nothing more.
Let’s be clear about something when it comes to Truth Social: John Brandon is not analyzing it as a political venture alone. It is definitely part of an elaborate re-election campaign. He has issues with that, not in terms of his own political views but due to the sketchy nature of having a dedicated social media platform meant only for one candidate. If it’s a campaign app, then great. If it isn’t, why does it exist?
Apart from using the word “truths” the real issue is that this is a clone, and that means there’s no real reason to switch from Twitter to this app.
Now that it works on the web, it makes it a bit easier to check your feed, but with 500.000 users, it makes me wonder why anyone would bother. With that smaller group of users, it’s less likely your post will catch on and reach a wider audience, unless you are related by blood to Donald Trump or you’re a celebrity.
Curiously, the only reason John discovered to use Truth Social is because you can see posts from The Babylon Bee, a satire site that was banned from Twitter.
At least Trump himself is posting now, typically with the same outrageous flare he used when he was active on Twitter. Many of his posts are about Hillary Clinton for some reason.
Another surprise is that there isn’t an Android version yet. John knows from personal experience that getting an app launched on Android can be troublesome. One report suggests Truth Social has not even submitted an Android version yet to the Google Play store. Trump claims the reason the app is not approved has something to do with Google being out to get him.
What could really attract attention?
John Brandon would suggest offering some unique features, perhaps a few that are not available on Twitter.