“Should President Donald Trump and Twitter ultimately part ways, his campaign has a backup plan at the ready to get his voice out,” Jarrett Renshaw and James Oliphant report for Reuters. “Trump’s campaign has been building an alternative channel for him for months, a smartphone app that aims to become a one-stop news, information and entertainment platform for his supporters, in part because of concerns that the president would lose access to the Twitter platform, said his campaign manager, Brad Parscale.”
The Trump app, which was launched in April, has since often placed among the Top 10 in Apple’s rankings of news apps, sometimes above those of individual news organizations such as CNN, The New York Times and Reuters.
“We have always been worried about Twitter and Facebook taking us offline and this serves as a backup,” [Trump campaign manager, Brad] Parscale told Reuters.
For supporters, the new app is where they can get the latest campaign news, watch campaign-produced, prime-time shows hosted by Trump allies and earn reward points for making phone calls or signing people up for the app.
For the campaign, it is a pandemic-proof substitute to Trump’s signature rallies, and a key tool to collect crucial data that can help micro-target voters ahead of November’s election.
Reward points that users can earn by getting other people to sign up for the app can be used to buy campaign gear or even score a meeting with Trump himself, the campaign said.
Biden’s campaign has a phone app as well, where supporters can donate or volunteer, and text people directly with campaign messaging.
But unlike Trump’s app, it provides little information, such as social media streams or news releases. Nor does it connect to the virtual campaign events Biden has been holding nearly daily during the coronavirus pandemic. The app is not ranked by Apple as among its 200 most popular for news…
According to Stefan Smith, a Democratic digital strategist who worked for Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign, the Trump app has created a “walled garden” or “digital mousetrap” where voters ideally stay as long as possible, interacting with the app’s steady stream of content.
The Trump campaign hired Texas-based company Phunware to build the app.
Bill Bigby, a Trump supporter in Scranton, Pennsylvania, said the app has now become his go-to source for the latest news. “We have learned that you can’t trust anything the media says about Trump,” Bigby, 56, said. “They just don’t like him.”
MacDailyNews Take: Get both and have twice the fun! 😉