Given the other drama surrounding the Donald Trump campaign, you could be forgiven for not noticing that the orange-haired one has released a new app.
Launched last week to absolutely zero fanfare, the app is the campaign’s first application. Dubbed “America First,” the app is just the latest attempt to gamify the voter experience. Although the execution is different, the experience isn’t unlike the truly joyless mobile game Hillary released last month. People like games, including the American political horse race. Trump’s app is similarly uninspiring.
After logging into the app—which is available for iOS and Android— users are invited to “earn” action points by completing tasks like watching campaign ads, donating to Trump, and sharing images to Facebook.
According to the App Store description, you can also stay up to date on campaign news (because there is no other source of information about the Trump campaign out there), meet up with other supporters (which sounds like the worst version of Tinder ever), and “earn prizes” for unlocking “special activist badges.”The most amusing part is the countdown until “we defeat Crooked Hillary.”
While the app promises many more features in the weeks ahead, right now it’s a half-assed exercise in complacency. It’s as if the Trump campaign realized, “yeah, we need an app,” and then bought one off the shelf.
But the terribleness of the app hasn’t stopped the rave reviews from pouring in on both iTunes and Google Play.
Signing up for the app requires an email address, Facebook account, or phone number. This almost certainly means you’re now on some Trump supporter list in the sky.
Of course, despite the yuge reviews, it looks like very few actual people are using the app. Only 575 people have viewed the Trump TV ad, and only 1149 people have signed up to receive text alerts.
According to the app’s built-in leaderboard, it looks like around 6,000 Trump supporters have installed it so far.
Amusingly, the software bears a strong resemblance to an app released by the Ted Cruz campaign earlier this year. That’s not a coincidence. Political Social Media LLC, which operates under the name uCampaign, made both apps. UCampaign appears to be a big player in the right-wing digital space. It also created apps for the NRA and the Rand Paul for Senate campaign. It even made an app supporting the Brexit.
All the apps are identical in their ugly, unfriendly designs. Sad!