The president still has ways to reach his most fervent fans though. The Official Trump 2020 Mobile App, which was used to register rally attendees and for direct messaging during the campaign, was downloaded 2.6 million times in the last year, with users required to input phone numbers and agree to be contacted, according to Apptopia. Nu Wexler, a communications consultant formerly with Google, Facebook and Twitter, said Trump’s online footprint is still remarkable among Republican politicians.
“He has millions of cell numbers from events and a fundraising email list that dwarfs the rest of his party,” said Wexler. “So he won’t have any problem communicating directly with his supporters.”
But carrying his message beyond that core will remain a challenge, and some options could prove problematic. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, stopped an effort to sign the president up on right-wing social media platforms like Gab and Parler after Twitter suspended his account last week, according to three people familiar with the matter. Parler was taken offline by Amazon Web Services for promoting violence in the wake of the Capitol riot and was also previously dropped by the Google and Apple app stores.
Wexler said fringier platforms like Gab and Parler wouldn’t reach a broader audience the way his Twitter account did. And their echo chamber of like-minded users may bore him. “He won’t get the thrill of fighting with Democrats,” said Wexler.