- Donald Trump has shut down his blog after just 29 days.
- Trump reportedly became furious about reports the website was receiving little traffic.
- Here’s why experts previously told Insider that Trump’s efforts to gain attention while banned from Twitter and Facebook were doomed to failure.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Donald Trump’s decision to shut down his blog after just 29 days, has been met with ridicule from many of his critics.
Trump, a lifelong ratings obsessive, reportedly took the decision after becoming furious at reports about the small amount of online traffic his blog was receiving.
“It was more of a hassle than anything else and it wasn’t getting as many views as the team would have liked,” a source with knowledge of the decision to take down the blog told Politico.
Trump’s close aide Jason Miller said Wednesday the move was a precursor to the former president joining another social media platform, and Miller has repeatedly said that Trump plans to launch his own social media platform in the near future.
-Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) June 2, 2021
However, the truth is that the failure of Trump’s blog was long predicted by experts.
Experts told Insider when the page launched that Trump’s personal ventures into social media outside the mainstream networks would struggle to gain the same attention that he received when he was firing off dozens of tweets every day before and during his presidency.
Partly, that was due to the absence of any interactive features on the page. The page simply posted tweet-length statements from Trump’s office and did not contain any networking elements that allowed visitors to create their own accounts or even comment on his statements.
“A challenge for Trump is that the most effective online engagement requires interaction,” Peter Loge, associate professor school of media and public affairs at the George Washington University, told Insider in May.
“Fans want to feel as if they have a relationship with their favorite celebrity. These “parasocial relationships” are what keep fans coming back and buying more stuff,” he said.
“At this point, Trump is just shouting into the void. He isn’t letting anyone shout back.
“Shouting at people is a less effective way to maintain celebrity status and keep selling new merchandise than finding ways to create the illusion of interaction is.”
The Washington Post reported that on the last day it was live online, Trump’s blog was shared on social media just 1,500 times. Each of his individual tweets before he was banned would receive thousands of shares, or retweets, and many would receive tens of thousands.
The Post also reported that part of the reason Trump shut down his blog was due to his concern that it would interfere with the social media network he still plans to launch later this year.
But that will face its own problems. Trump was already struggling for attention on social media by the time he left the White House in January. Social media interactions about Trump fell by around 91% between January and May, according to the social media intelligence agency Newswhip.
And while a new social media network might succeed in allowing Trump to maintain contact with his existing base of diehard supporters, he will likely struggle to attract a new following through such a platform.
“This [new] social media network is in my professional judgment unlikely to grow Trump’s following,” Professor Stephen A. Greyser, a marketing and communications expert at Harvard Business School, told Insider in April.
“It is serving as a reminder to existing users, so to speak, of the brand. But it’s unlikely to be attracting new brand adherence,” he added.
That may prove to fall well below the former president’s ambitions, who has sought to maintain a vicelike grip on the Republican Party since leaving office – and who has repeatedly suggested he will try to run for president again in 2024.