May 24, 2024

Exclusive: Head of engineering for Trump’s Truth Social app resigns

NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) – The head of engineering for the company that operates former US President Donald Trump’s Truth Social app told Reuters on Monday he had resigned, in a blow to the venture.

Alex Gleason’s departure comes amid a long period of uncertainty for Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which launched Truth Social as a way for Trump to connect with his base after being cut off from major social media platforms after the January 6, 2021, the US Capitol is attacked by his followers.

Gleason is the founder of Soapbox Technology, which provides open source technology for “decentralized” social media platforms that operate on independently run servers and provide an alternative to Twitter and Facebook.

Gleason said in an interview that he is leaving TMTG to work full-time on Soapbox, developing technology to connect multiple decentralized platforms.

TMTG hired Gleason in January 2022 to adapt Soapbox’s technology to its own needs, eventually using it as the front-end technology — which users see and interact with — for the Truth Social app.

A representative for TMTG did not respond to a request for comment about Gleason’s departure.

Truth Social has struggled to show strong user growth since its launch in February 2022.

Since then, Trump has been reinstated on the more widely used platforms from which he was expelled, including Facebook and Twitter, and Truth Social’s user base remains tiny compared to the growth targets TMTG set out in of November 2021, when he told investors the app would reach 56 million users by 2024 and 81 million by 2026.

Truth Social has approximately 607,000 monthly users, according to data from Similarweb.

Trump had 5.71 million followers on Truth Social as of July 17, compared to the more than 88 million followers he had on Twitter when the platform suspended him.

In October 2021, TMTG announced a deal to go public through a merger with blank check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC) (DWAC.O) but the merger has been in doubt as investigations by the department have been delayed Justice and by the US securities regulator. to close.

A filing earlier this month revealed that DWAC has reached an agreement with Securities and Exchange Commission staff, although it was not yet final and the terms were subject to SEC approval.

Reporting by Helen Coster, editing by Deepa Babington

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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