Conservatives flocked to Parler after the election. But its explosive growth is over #Breaking112
Now that bump appears to be fading.
New downloads for Parler have plummeted and are approaching the same levels as before the election, according to data from Apptopia, which tracks mobile apps. While Parler’s daily active users, a key metric of how engaged people are in the service, remains higher than before the election, the number is decreasing, Apptopia says.
“The data trends resemble a fad, and a short-lived one at that,” said Adam Blacker, VP of insights at Apptopia. “Parler had a very good spike. People were interested, it’s in the news, it receives downloads. … But it appears, in our data, that there is no staying power.”
According to the data, on Oct. 25, Parler was downloaded about 16,000 times. Downloads peaked in mid-November, when it was downloaded nearly 340,000 times in a single day. On Monday, it was downloaded nearly 20,000 times. Daily active users on Parler shot up from about 500,000 on Oct. 25 to a peak of about 2.9 million in late November and have since fallen to 2.3 million.
Parler did not immediately respond to a request for comment about its downloads and engagement declining.
Parler, founded in 2018, bills itself as “unbiased social media” and a place where people can “speak freely” without fear of being “deplatformed,” according to its website and App Store description. It looks like a mashup of Twitter and Instagram, with a main feed, follower metrics and ways to share posts and links. It’s also rife with misinformation, including a stream of baseless allegations of voter fraud.
In recent years, cries of conservative bias or accusations of censorship have made way for several alternative platforms, including Gab, 4chan and 8chan. However, none of them have yet succeeded in creating a robust right-leaning platform that sticks with a significant audience.
“In theory, a user is like ‘I don’t want Twitter to silence my speech,'” said Daniel Kelley, associate director of the Center for Technology and Society at the Anti-Defamation League. “But in practice, if you’re really not doing any content moderation, even at the level of the most egregious, the experience for users declines significantly.”
Prominent conservative voices who have joined the platform, including Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Fox News host Sean Hannity, radio personality Mark Levin and Congressman Devin Nunes, continue to post frequently. But that won’t be enough to keep the platform going, according to Kelley.
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