New Twitter owner Elon Musk has some free advice for former President Donald Trump’s fledgling “Truth Social” app – quipping Wednesday that rival social media service should consider a name change.
Musk weighed in on the Trump-backed app’s brand just two days after he reached an agreement with Twitter’s board to buy the company for $44 billion.
“Truth Social (terrible name) exists because Twitter censored free speech,” Musk tweeted. “Should be called Trumpet instead!”
Hours earlier tweeting his recommended name change, Musk noted that Truth Social was ahead of both Twitter and TikTok on the Apple App Store’s most-downloaded list for free apps.
The Twitter buyout deal ostensibly puts Musk in direct competition with Trump’s platform, which has positioned itself as a social media alternative and haven for conservatives who have faced censorship on platforms controlled by Big Tech firms.
The deal also sparked speculation that he could decide to reinstate Trump’s account once he formally takes control of the company. Trump had nearly 90 million followers before he was permanently banned from Twitter and other social media platforms after his supporters participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The former president has already declared that he has no intention of returning to Twitter even after Musk completes his takeover – telling Fox News that Musk would “make improvements” at the company but he preferred to “stay on Truth.”
Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera suggested Tuesday night that Trump’s participation would have made Twitter a more attractive investment for Musk.
“If Donald Trump persists in insisting he will not be on Twitter, and opting to be on Truth, Elon Musk will have overpaid for Twitter,” Rivera said. “Because Twitter with Trump is a far more exotic product, it seems to me, than the opposite.”
Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp., the Trump-linked SPAC pledged to take Truth Social public if it can gain regulatory approval, initially plunged on the news of Musk’s foray into social media. But the stock rebounded on Wednesday, surging more than 11%.
Stll, the stock is down more than 20% since April 4, when Musk first disclosed he had taken a 9% stake in Twitter. And Truth Social has faced technical issues since its launch in the App Store in February, with some users unable to access the app or stuck on a lengthy waitlist.
Trump, the app’s most prominent user, has barely posted on it.