- In the five days from Election Day, November 3, the conservative social media platform Parler was downloaded nearly 1 million times.
- Prominent Republicans have encouraged people to use Parler instead of Twitter and Facebook.
- On November 8, Parler took the number one spot for free iPhone apps on the US App Store – the following day, it ranked number one on Google Play for the first time ever.
- Downloads of the app rocketed just as Facebook and Twitter cracked down on election misinformation, including the “Stop the Steal” campaign baselessly claiming voter fraud. A hashtag for the campaign has 15,000 mentions on Parler.
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Conservative social media site Parler, touted by prominent Republicans as a “freer” alternative to Facebook and Twitter, was downloaded nearly 1 million times in the five days after Election Day.
Parler, similar to social networks like Gab and MeWe, advertises itself as a platform for free speech, where users can post “without fear of being ‘deplatformed’ for your views.”
The social media app has emerged as a central hub for Republican officials, conservative pundits, and Trump supporters protesting election results.
Downloads have surged just as Twitter and Facebook have tried to crack down on election misinformation.
Facebook, for example, has removed groups promoting the “Stop the Steal” campaign, which makes baseless allegations of voter fraud.
Now, the #StoptheSteal hashtag has more than 15,000 “parleys,” or mentions, on Parler.
In the US, Parler was downloaded 980,000 times on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store in total between November 3 and November 8, according to data from SensorTower.
Craig Chapple, Sensor Tower’s mobile insights strategist, told Business Insider that more than half of those downloads â€” 636,000 â€” happened on November 8 alone, the day after several major outlets called the election in favour of President-elect Joe Biden.
This figure is more than five times its previous best-ever day, when Parler had 119,000 installs on June 26, he added.
Chapple said Parler has hit around 3.6 million downloads in the US to date.
On November 8, Parler took the number one spot on the top free iPhone apps on the US App Store â€” its highest rank ever â€” rising 1,022 places since November 2, Sensor Tower data shows.
The following day, it ranked number one on Google Play for the first time ever. For comparison, it was at number 486 for downloads on November 2.
Twitter labelled multiple tweets from President Donald Trump as “misleading” after Election Day, including false claims that he won the election, and claims, without evidence, of voter fraud.
Facebook began actively demoting false election posts on November 6.
In a statement, Parler’s COO Jeffrey Wernick said that both Facebook and Twitter have lost user trust. “Parler is a breath of fresh air for those weary and wary of the way they have been treated by our competitors,” he said.
Wernick said Parler’s growth is a result of Parler’s efforts “to earn our community’s trust, both by protecting their privacy, and being transparent about the way in which their content is handled on our platform.”