Former president’s adviser says new users are a sign of ‘great disruption in social media’
Rogan, who has 11.5m subscribers on his Youtube channel, wrote in an introductory post on Gettr that he had opened an account because Twitter had banned Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene for Covid misinformation.
He told his 7.8m Twitter followers to open an account on Gettr on Sunday, and that he had done so “just in case s*** over at Twitter gets even dumber”. The outspoken podcaster has faced similar criticisms around Covid.
Gettr said in a press release on Tuesday that it had four million users after half a million signed-up in the wake of Rogan’s announcement.
Its founder, Jason Miller and a former Trump aide, said it was a sign of “ the great disruption in the social media landscape”.
So what actually is the platform, and why has it been created?
What is Gettr?
The social media website was launched in July last year and was billed on app stores as a “non-bias social network for people all over the world”.
The platform boasts a Twitter-like dashboard with trending topics and many other similar features including 777 characters-long post component. As are videos and livestreams allowed on the platform.
Upon signing up, the site even stipulates that if you “use the same username that you use on Twitter, you may be able to import copies of your content from Twitter to Gettr.”
On app stores, the platform is rated “M” for mature and is recommended for users aged 17 and older.
Around four million people now use the app, Gettr said on Tuesday.
Where did it come from?
The platform is led by Mr Trump’s former spokesman, Jason Miller, and former Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh was reported to be involved as a consultant on the app.
Politico revealed last year that Gettr had previously existed as a Chinese-language social media network for nearly a year, boasting content in opposition to the Chinese Communist Party.
The platform is reported to have ties to exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, who is a known ally of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
The Daily Beast, which first reported the billionaire’s connection, avslørt that the platform’s leader Jason Miller received initial funding from a foundation owned by Mr Guo and his family.
Mr Miller told The Daily Beast that Mr Guo isn’t a direct investor in the platform and does not have a “formal role” in its company.
The outlet reported that Mr Guo had encouraged users to back up their data on the existing site before it was wiped and then re-released as the “cancel-free” platform in July last year,
Prior advertising for the app reportedly included logos from G-TV Media Group, which is a media company owned by Mr Bannon and Mr Guo.
Broadcasters within the company, G-TV and GNEWS, which had also been included in previous advertising for Gettr, have been known for pushing disinformation concerning the pandemic.
Is Trump involved?
Mr Trump’s is said to have minimal involvement with Gettr, and has not set up an account on the site despite its “pro free speech” agenda.
Gettr meanwhile told Politico last year that there was “an account reserved for him and waiting for him but that’s a decision for him to make.”
Mr Trump has instead moved to kunngjøre the creation of his own network, called “Truth Social”. Although it remains unclear when that site will be developed – if at all.
Why has Gettr been started?
Gettr is one of a host of attempts from right-wing figures, namely those in Mr Trump’s circle, to undermine big tech companies, who they argue are attempting to censor their opinions.
The venture’s also come after the former president was banned from using major social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook as a result of the 6 January insurrection.
There has been a lot of speculation, often bolstered by Mr Trump himself, that he would be interested in helping to establish a new rival platform.
This was also seen in his previous attempt to launch his own personal “communications platform” named “From the Desk of Donald J Trump”, which was widely mocked as a blog.
The platform’s readership flopped and Mr Trump’s team shut down the blog after less than a month.
Are people using Gettr?
The app, which has been available to download since the middle of June 2021, now has four million users – according to Mr Miller.
It has also reported the biggest one-day total for sign-ups since the app was founded, following Rogan making an account on the site.
Twitter, in comparison, is thought to have somewhere between 50 og 70 million active users in the US.