truth social app STOCK
CNN  — 

Truth Social, Donald Trump’s social media app aimed at taking on Twitter, launched on Monday. So I decided to get in on the action, setting up my own account to see what it was all about.

The process of signing up seemed simple. I downloaded the Truth Social app from the Apple App Store and created an account and password. Then, trouble – in the form of this message via the app:

“Thank you for joining! Due to massive demand, we have placed you on our waitlist. We love you, and you’re not just another number to us. But your waitlist number is below.”

That number, you ask? Oh, 401,477.

(In better news, I got an email from Truth Social celebrating my new account and telling me I was 321,477 on the waitlist. Boom!)

My experience, apparently, is the rule rather than the exception for those hoping to get on Truth Social. As CNN wrote Monday:

“Users who downloaded the app Monday morning were greeted by a message inviting them to register for the service — but the signup process ended in a waitlist to access the platform that had already grown to more than 150,000.”

Former California Rep. Devin Nunes, who quit Congress to run Truth Social, promised that the app would be “fully operational” by the end of March, which is – checks calendar – just over a month away.

Which is, well, odd. Especially when you consider that Donald Trump Jr. tweeted what appeared to be the former President’s first Truth Social post last week. It read: “Get Ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!

By “soon,” Trump apparently meant the end of March.

That wasn’t the only problem with the app on Monday. As the technology site CNET noted:

“People who downloaded the app reported seeing error messages when they tried entering a birthdate, e-mail or phone number to create an account. ‘Something went wrong. Please try again,’ the message read.”

With all that said, it is worth noting that, apparently, at least 401,476 other people want Truth Social and are willing to wait in line for it. And a quick check of the top free apps in the Apple App Store on Tuesday morning showed Truth Social at No. 1, followed by HBO Max and “Talking Ben the Dog.” (I downloaded that one too – it is some sort of video game featuring, yes, a talking dog.)

So there is clearly interest in Trump’s new social media venture. But will that interest sustain for the better part of a month while Truth Social becomes operational?

The truth – ahem – is that what Trump (and Nunes) are trying to do is a herculean task.

From what little we know about Truth Social it appears to be an unapologetic ripoff of Twitter. Rather than tweets, you send “truths.” Rather than retweets, there are “retruths.” (This reminds me of “Coming to America” and McDowell’s; “They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick.”)

So Trump is trying to invent something that a) already exists and b) has wide reach into the political and media culture he is hoping to influence.

But even in that attempt to reinvent the wheel, Trump – who was banned from Twitter following the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol – is not alone. There’s Parler, which re-launched in early 2021. There’s also Gettr, which was started last year by former Trump adviser Jason Miller.

While Truth Social has Trump’s active involvement on its side, there are real questions as to whether there are enough people who are willing to keep all three of these services alive.

The early returns for Truth Social aren’t exactly reassuring. In our instant gratification culture, asking people to wait as much as a much to get what they want isn’t a recipe for success. For me, I only have a few hundred thousand people in front of me in line…