In a significant setback for Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), Alex Gleason, the head of engineering for the company operating former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Truth Social app, has tendered his resignation. The departure comes at a time of extended uncertainty for TMTG, which launched Truth Social as a means for Trump to connect with his base after being banned from major social media platforms following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack by his supporters.
Truth Social App Loses Head of Engineering
Alex Gleason, founder of Soapbox Technology, has been providing open-source technology for “decentralized” social media platforms that operate independently on their own servers, offering an alternative to Twitter and Facebook. His decision to step down from TMTG is driven by his desire to devote his time to Soapbox fully, focusing on the development of technology to interconnect multiple decentralized platforms.
TMTG brought Gleason on board in January 2022 with the purpose of adapting Soapbox’s technology to fulfill its needs. Eventually, they utilized it as the front-end technology for the Truth Social app, which users interact with directly. However, a representative for TMTG has not yet commented on Gleason’s departure.
Truth Social has faced challenges in achieving substantial user growth since its launch in February 2022. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has been reinstated on more widely-used platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and as a result, Truth Social’s user base remains minuscule compared to the ambitious growth targets set by TMTG in November 2021. The company had initially projected that the app would attract 56 million users by 2024 and 81 million by 2026. Presently, Truth Social has an estimated 607,000 monthly users, as per data from Similarweb.
As of July 17, Trump has accumulated 5.71 million followers on Truth Social, a stark contrast to the 88 million followers he previously had on Twitter before his suspension.
Adding to TMTG’s challenges, its plan to go public through a merger with blank-check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC) (DWAC.O), which was announced in October 2021, has been cast into doubt due to ongoing investigations by the Justice Department and the U.S. securities regulator, leading to delays in the closing of the merger. Nevertheless, a recent filing indicates that DWAC has reached a tentative agreement with the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), subject to the SEC’s final approval.
The resignation of Alex Gleason further complicates TMTG’s already uncertain journey, as they strive to solidify their position in the competitive social media landscape while dealing with regulatory scrutiny. As the company navigates through these challenges, the future of Truth Social remains uncertain, with many questions yet to be answered.