The largely conservative user base of the social media platform Parler may be concerned about the results of the US presidential election, but the opposite is likely to be true of the company’s owners – whoever they are.
According to Jeffrey Wernick, Parler’s chief operating officer, the number of users on the platform rose from around 4.5 million members last week to around 8 million this week, from 500,000 two weeks ago to 4 million active devices. He added that daily active devices will increase approximately tenfold and session growth in the app will increase 20 times.
An explosion of growth for Parler was sparked by users who felt that Twitter and Facebook’s recent moves to curb misinformation and hate speech were anti-conservative bias.
Social media advisor Matt Navarra told Adweek that platforms that tarnish “alternative destinations” like Parler “are a place for these controversial, extreme views, opinions and content [that other platforms don’t allow and] so often many brands do not want to be associated with them and do not go near them. “
He added that this would limit the profitability potential of Upstart platforms modeled on Parler. “The market for advertisers and brands willing to part with money and connect with these platforms, the developers and influencers on them and the things they post is far smaller,” Navarra said.
Parler was number 7 free iPhone apps in the United States on Nov. 7, before ranking first the next day, Sensor Tower mobile insight strategist Stephanie Chan told Adweek. For comparison: The app was number 1,023 on November 2nd, the day before election day.
The pattern was the same on Google Play, where Parler jumped from 486th in total app downloads on November 2nd to 5th on November 8th, and topped the next day.
According to Sensor Tower estimates, the app was installed approximately 636,000 times in both the Apple and Google App Stores in the US on November 8th. That is a record high of one day for Parler, which on June 26 throws the previous mark of around 119,000 in the shade.
Brian Wieser, Global President of GroupM, Business Intelligence, did not specifically address Parler, but told Adweek, “In general, any ad inventory seller with a meaningful scale must ensure that it is branded safe in order to achieve scalability in ad sales . An open association with a partisan viewpoint can limit the attractiveness of a particular environment. “
While Parler’s 8 million user base pales in comparison to Twitter’s 187 million daily active users or Facebook’s 1.82 billion daily active users, its advocacy of “free speech” makes it a home for prominent conservative voices like the presenter from Fox Business, Maria Bartiromo Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, Fox News presenter, Mark Levin, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, Brad Parscale, Director of Trump Campaign, and Eric Trump.
While outgoing President Donald Trump has no active profile on Parler, campaign advisor Katrina Pierson said last week that Twitter would become “irrelevant” if Trump joined the upstart platform, according to Newsweek.
I’m proud to join @parler_app – a platform that conveys what freedom of speech is all about – and I look forward to being a part of it. Let’s talk. Let’s speak freely. And let’s end Silicon Valley censorship. Follow me there @tedcruz! pic.twitter.com/pzUFvhipBZ
– Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 25, 2020
How it compares to competitors
There are currently no ads running on the platform, and Matze said in an interview with Fox Business in June that Parler was not profitable. On the same day, he told Fortune that he intended to add advertising to the platform, along with an initiative to compare brands with Parler influencers posting sponsored content on their behalf, with the company making a cut. Parler has not updated its advertising plans.