Former president Donald Trump's new social media platform, Truth Social, has been advertised as “a major rival to Big Tech."
However, experts say it's unlikely that Truth Social, which is now scheduled to launch March 31, can live up to such a billing.
Time Magazine reported Tuesday that "the inherent nature of the site — i.e., catering to a specific ideological viewpoint — will likely prevent it from reaching the same heights as mainstream platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Discord."
"From Twitter knockoffs Parler, Gab and GETTR to YouTube competitor Rumble, TRUTH Social has been preceded by a number of other free-speech-centric platforms that have become right-wing havens. However, none have risen to large scale success," Time reported.
Kristina Lerman, a professor at USC's Information Sciences Institute, told the magazine that sites like Truth Social "aren't going to replace platforms that attract a more diverse set of the population."
“There’s a whole social network for beer enthusiasts where they can come together and post reviews of beers,” Lerman said. “It’s great that such a community exists where like-minded people can meet each other. But that doesn’t mean that kind of niche community will be attractive to the mainstream.”
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Joshua Tucker, co-director of NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics, said "a fundamental premise of social media" is that the more people who join a platform, the more value it has.
“So when you start out by lopping off (a large percentage) of the population, that gets more challenging because it’s harder to scale. And that’s especially the case when there are alternatives out there that don’t have the same limitations as you," Tucker said.
Truth Social was originally scheduled to launch on Feb. 21, and the recently announced delay caused its parent company's stock price to plummet.