Pop Culture

Trump’s Social Media Magic Appears to Be Wearing Off

The former president’s blog posts are getting much less engagement than he once enjoyed on Facebook and Twitter, where his every outrage and grievance was also injected directly into the news cycle.

Donald Trump’s new digital-media play is not exactly the social networking juggernaut one might’ve expected him to try and unleash since leaving the White House. Instead, the former president has launched a personal “communications platform,” otherwise known as a blog––a throwback to the style of pre-Instagram personal websites that celebrities once used to share their daily goings-on with fans. No longer able to post on Twitter and Facebook, both of which have currently banned him following the Capitol riot, the 45th president is now serving up his many grudges and grievances under the heading, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.” The site’s launch took place several weeks after Trump adviser Jason Miller claimed that Trump would soon “completely redefine” the social media game by creating a new platform, a P.R. promise that, so far, could not be further from reality.

There is noticeably less engagement and far fewer visitors on Trump’s new site than the attention he recieved on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, according to NBC News. Using data compiled by the online analytics company BuzzSumo, the NBC report noted that the platform has only netted a little over 212,000 engagements. In comparison, one post on the former president’s Twitter account to his 88 million followers could receive more than a million likes, mainlining his every musing to consume the news cycle and the nation’s attention. Even the Trump name brand has severely deflated online since he was dropped by Facebook and Twitter in January. NewsWhip, an agency that researches social media use, recently reported that social media entries mentioning Trump have dropped by roughly 91%, per Axios. Amid this decline, the Trump campaign has utilized old-school email blasts that include short statements from Trump on stories in the news––including a recent note calling this year’s scandalized Kentucky Derby winner a “junky” horse––which reporters then share on Twitter via screenshots, providing the former president with a back door into the social media conversation.

“From the Desk” users can like entries and share them on more popular platforms––as in, the ones that Trump isn’t allowed to use anymore. But unlike most blogging platforms, readers cannot comment or otherwise interact with the posts. “In the case of Trump’s new platform, it is so technologically primitive that there is no way for his followers to even migrate,” said Binghamton University tech professor Jeremy Blackburn in a comment to NBC News.

Still, Trump’s new blog has at least one avid reader so far. Senator Marco Rubio tried pimping his America First authenticity in an email to supporters that noted he “was lucky enough to be [mentioned in] one of his first posts,” referring to the former president’s new “platform.”

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