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Trump-backed Truth Social loses key staffers

Trouble at Trump's Truth Social app
Two executives with former President Trump's Truth Social app quit 04:28

The abrupt departure of two senior executives from a social media platform backed by former President Donald Trump is raising questions about where it goes from here.

Technology chief Josh Adams and product development head Billy Boozer stepped down from Truth Social after a bumpy start in February for its iPhone app, Reuters reported Monday. 

CBS News technology reporter Dan Patterson said the company behind Truth Social, Trump Media & Technology Group, has struggled to attract technology pros and build out its development team, hampering the launch.

"It's a really competitive space to be launching an app in, and even President Trump doesn't have the competitive juice to really scale," he told CBS News. 

Truth Social has touted itself an alternative to Facebook as well a new online destination for Trump's supporters and other political conservatives. It launched in late February and quickly became one of the most popular apps on Apple's App Store. 

Yet the site's popularity dimmed in the following weeks, in part because there are already other social media apps that cater to right-leaning Americans including Rumble, Parler and Gab, Patterson said. 

Truth Social, which isn't available on Android-powered devices, was downloaded about 872,000 times during its first week, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower. Stephanie Chan, a  mobile insights strategist for Sensor Tower, told TheWrap that Truth Social now has about 1.2 million downloads.

Concerns raised about the future of democracy in America 07:14

Trump announced plans to create Truth Social after he was permanently removed from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in 2021. He was barred from the services after they said his speech helped incite the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. In December, Trump said Truth Social will be "a platform that will not discriminate on the basis of political ideology."

A so-called special purpose acquisition company called Digital World Acquisition had planned to buy Truth Social and Trump Media & Technology Group, but the deal is on hold as U.S. regulators investigate the company over potential breaches of securities rules.

Digital World aroused investor concerns last week after disclosing that its auditor needed more time to time to review the company's financial figures before it filed its annual report. Although companies often request filing extensions, the delay underlined the rocky February rollout of Truth Social, which was marred by outages, a lengthy waitlist and difficulty accessing the app. 

"Building and scaling a [social media] platform is vastly different than building a website or an application," Patterson said. "It takes resources, it takes money, it takes time and more than anything it takes tech talent, which is in short supply."

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