Donald Trump’s social network has a money problem
In addition, Truth Social has a relatively small user base and many older users who are less desirable for the brands. Marketers have complained that Truth Social’s ad serving technology, operated by Rumble, a right-wing video streaming website, offers limited tools to track an ad’s performance or show ads to users based on their demographic profiles. These tools, now standard across larger ad networks powered by Google and Meta, are critical to an ad’s success.
“The further you get from that safe center, the more marginal or extreme you get on anything, the less money you’re going to get,” said Tom Denford, CEO of ID Comms, an advertising consultancy.
Truth Social and Trump Media & Technology Group did not respond to requests for comment.
Businesses can typically use tools offered by digital ad services to prevent their ads from appearing near words or phrases that might upset customers — like war, assault, or suicide. Considering the skepticism brands have of Trump and his policies, the word “Trump” ranked 11th most blacklisted by advertisers in 2019, according to data from Integral Ad Science, a company that focuses on brand safety most commonly used terms.
“It’s really dangerous for big advertisers to be closely associated with a political figure and also a political movement,” said Bob Hoffman, an advertising industry veteran and author of The Ad Contrarian, a newsletter critical of the industry. “It’s not in their best interests to meddle in this swamp.”
Twitter faced similar challenges after Elon Musk bought the company and announced plans to create a more permissive environment for free speech. In response, advertisers fled this platform or paused their campaigns, resulting in a significant drop in revenue.
“They removed Twitter because they are unsure if Twitter can meet their brand safety guidelines, and they will stay until they are reassured,” Denford said.
“The more you stray from that safe center, the more you become marginal or extreme in anything, and the less money you will get.”
Tom Denford, CEO of ID Comms, an advertising consultancy.
Musk also welcomed Trump back to Twitter and reinstated his account in November. Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, announced this week that it would restore the president’s accounts after he was banned from social media services in 2021, saying Trump’s posts after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol risk inciting more violence.
Trump is required to make his posts available exclusively on Truth Social for six hours, and he has not posted to other social networks since Truth launched. This contract expires in June, but can be extended.
Rumble, the video streamer that manages ads for Truth Social, makes between $15 million and $25 million annually, according to estimates by Similarweb, a website analytics company. Rumble did not respond to requests for comment.
When ads were launched on Truth through Rumble’s platform last year, marketers complained that it offered limited ability to target ads to people based on their demographics — like age, gender, or interests. It also didn’t offer a way to track whether the ad resulted in a sale, a feature coveted by advertisers and offered by major ad networks like Google.
Maxwell Finn, an online marketer, said in a YouTube video that he was one of Truth Social’s top advertisers and spent more than $150,000 on ads, including hats, shirts, coins and bills with Trump tags motives.
In the video, he called the ad platform “frustrating” and “barely,” adding that it lacked even basic functionality, forcing his company to manually track ad performance — a method that’s proven impossible for advertisers with bigger budgets would prove.
“Do I think this is a platform where you can spend tens of thousands of dollars a day, especially if you only have a few products?” he said in another video. “No, probably. The audience is just too small.”
Over time, the low-quality ads on Truth Social have angered its own users, who have complained to Trump after repeatedly seeing the same disturbing images or falling for misleading gimmicks.
“Can’t you check the ads on Truth?” asked one user in a post addressed to Trump. “I’ve been scammed more than once.”
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/donald-trump-s-social-network-has-a-money-problem-20230130-p5cgcv.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_business Donald Trump’s social network has a money problem