Parler Tops App Store Charts As Conservatives Flock to Site After Biden Victory Over Trump

Social media platform Parler is topping Apple and Google download charts this week after Joe Biden's election victory over President Donald Trump.

Pitched as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter, the Parler app has pitched itself as a "free speech" social network and is populated by Republican politicians and a variety of right wing personalities who have been exiled from mainstream services.

In the U.S. as of today, Parler is top of Apple's free download chart and the Google Play Store, according to data from analytics firm SensorTower, which indicated the app had attracted around 200,000 downloads last month, collectively on both stores.

The exact size of the app's userbase is not fully clear, however Parler CEO John Matze indicated in a post yesterday that it had received up to two million new accounts. "We expected a million or so people today... but 2? You guys are crazy," he wrote.

As conservatives reel from Trump's defeat, well-followed users on Twitter have appealed for their readers to sign up to Parler in recent days, mostly citing censorship. The app currently sits above TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in recent downloads.

Last Friday, Fox Business News host Maria Bartiromo claimed that she would abandon Twitter in favor of Parler after some of her updates were hidden behind a flag warning users that her posts contained election misinformation or "disputed" claims.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich last week urged his Twitter followers to join him on Parler, claiming Twitter had tried to "silence" his views and opinions.

Mark Levin, a right wing radio personality, has repeatedly advertised Parler over the past week, claiming Facebook is on a "suppression campaign" against his posts and sharing anecdotal evidence of an "exodus" from the Mark Zuckerberg-led website.

Trump campaign advisor Katrina Pierson said last Friday that Trump joining Parler would make Twitter "irrelevant," saying CEO Jack Dorsey "couldn't interfere with the election or censor Trump supporters anymore" while also promoting her own profile.

Several high-profile users are already active on the Parler platform, including Sen. Ted Cruz, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Congressman Devin Nunes and Eric Trump. The president does not have an active Parler profile, however his campaign does.

Trump complained last week that Twitter was "out of control" after labeling dozens of his posts for possibly containing falsehoods about the presidential election.

Without evidence, the president has repeatedly suggested that Democrats were trying to "steal" the election and the process of counting the mail-in ballots was manipulated or fraudulent. Since the result, his campaign has launched legal action in several states in an attempt to challenge the outcome of the voting, which was won by Biden.

The face of the project, Matze has claimed his platform does not censor users' speech and over the weekend said Twitter's moderation against Trump was "ludicrous."

For Parler, the apparent influx of new users brought with it a slew of bugs and glitches. The platform's development team said yesterday that users may experience problems with the app, noting "a few things exploded" as traffic hit the servers.

"We have increased the number of people per day on Parler by 4x in the last 24 hours... it's looking like this trend will continue," Matze said yesterday. "Don't worry, the app isn't normally this slow, and given a little time these issues will be ironed out."

On Twitter, conservative podcast host and Parler strategic investor Dan Bongino asked users to have patience as the problems are resolved. Bongino, who appeared to reject the Biden win, claimed the app was "adding thousands of users per minute."

"The media and the anti-Trump lunatics have awakened a sleeping giant," Bongino had tweeted yesterday as downloads spiked. "We gave a collective middle finger to the tech tyrants as Parler remains the NUMBER ONE most downloaded app in the world."

Disclaimer: Newt Gingrich is a Newsweek opinion columnist.

Parler
This illustration picture shows social media application logo from Parler displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. The app topped the Apple and Google download charts this week after Biden's election win. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty