President Donald Trump has joined Triller, a rival to the video sharing app TikTok that he wants ban in the US. First noted by New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz, Trump’s Triller account (@donaldjtrump) has about 3,500 followers, and his introductory video has more than 590,000 views.
The intro video features clips of the president and audio clips of him saying “I’m a professional at technology,” and “nobody can do it like me.” The other two videos on the account as of Saturday afternoon were a clip of the president making a short speech in which he says “Joe Biden has no clue,” and another clip mocking the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Over the past few weeks, as the Trump administration has continued its push against TikTok in the US, Triller is one of several similar apps to see a sharp uptick in users, with more than 700,000 downloads in the past month. TikTok said in April it had hit 2 billion downloads globally, with 315 million downloads in the first quarter of 2020 alone.
Triller launched two years before TikTok, in 2015, and co-owner Ryan Kavanaugh told CNBC that the company sees itself as the “adult version” of TikTok, with content that’s “a little more risque.”
On Friday, President Trump issued an executive order giving ByteDance 90 days to either sell or spin off its TikTok business in the US. TikTok parent company ByteDance is based in China, and the Trump administration has suggested that the company could share information about Americans with the Chinese government, which the company has denied. Earlier this month the president issued an executive order that would have blocked all US transactions with ByteDance to “address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain.”
Microsoft has been in talks to acquire TikTok —a deal which co-founder Bill Gates called a “poisoned chalice” — and reports last week suggested Twitter was possibly interested. Microsoft said it expected to complete the discussions “no later than September 15th, 2020.”