While Elon Musk was making his bid for Twitter, another social media app has quietly moved to the top of the App Store rankings: Truth Social, the platform launched by former president Donald Trump after he received a permanent ban from Twitter for his role in inciting the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
Among the top free iPhone apps available on the App Store, Truth Social has been seeing the most installs overall on the U.S. App Store today. (Twitter is No. 2.) According to Mobile Insights Strategist Stephanie Chan of SensorTower, a mobile analytics firm, Truth was at No. 52 as of Sunday—and Twitter was ranked at No. 39.
The sudden increase of downloads for Truth Social likely has something to do with the resolution of the platform’s technical issues. Although Truth Social launched in February 2022, users had been reporting long waitlists until very recently. On Friday, the company’s CEO, former congressman Devin Nunes, announced that the waitlists had been cleared after the site moved to a new cloud provider, Rumble.
The increase in downloads may also have something to do with the former president’s recent statements. Earlier this month, on April 14, Trump told Americano Media that he probably wouldn’t be returning to Twitter even as Musk expressed interest in buying the platform. “Twitter’s become very boring. They’ve gotten rid of many good voices on Twitter, a lot of their conservative voices,” Trump told Americano Media. After the news of Musk’s purchase on Monday, Trump took to Fox News to declare that he would not be returning to Twitter—even if Musk lets him come back—and would be staying on Truth. On Tuesday, the app made the top of the rankings.
Chan estimates that Truth has been downloaded over 1.4 million times since it launched in February 2022.
Truth Social has marketed itself as a free-speech platform that encourages “open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology,” but it appears to have already silenced at least one reporter. On Saturday, the Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz tweeted that she was suspended from Truth just a couple of days after uncovering the identity behind a conservative Twitter account @LibsOfTikTok.