President Trump’s projected loss could be Parler’s gain, as millions of new users joined the burgeoning social media platform in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, according to Parler CEO John Matze.
Mr. Matze wrote Tuesday that his company added 4.5 million users since Friday, the day before Joseph R. Biden was projected by various news organizations to be president-elect, and Parler’s engagement has soared in the same time frame. Five million people were active on Parler on Monday, which Mr. Matze wrote was an 8-fold increase in user engagement from the previous week.
“Facebook and Twitter’s suppression of election information was a catalyst, causing many people to lose their trust,” Mr. Matze wrote in a letter to users published on his company’s website. “But the movement away from these platforms was already well underway. Many of you have been activists alongside us, calling out the lack of transparency and unjust, biased policies of our competitors, as part of the Twexit and Erasebook campaigns we launched earlier this year.”
Twitter and Facebook have taken action against Mr. Trump and his supporters that Parler has not. Since Saturday, Twitter has tagged or labeled 20 of Mr. Trump’s tweets and limited the visibility of several of those tweets.
Last week, Facebook removed the group ‘Stop the Steal,’ which was developed by organizers from the pro-Trump nonprofit Women for America First. The group swelled to 350,000 followers in under 24 hours before its removal, according to Women for America First co-founder Amy Kremer. Facebook said it saw “worrying calls for violence from some members of the group” in explaining its decision to crack down on the group.
Parler has positioned itself as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook, particularly for free speech proponents that are mad at social media platforms’ content moderation policies and Big Tech’s involvement in political affairs. Parler has also experienced some technical issues amid its rapid user gains.
“With this type of exponential growth, there will always be growing pains,” Mr. Matze wrote. “The last few days have strained our networks’ capacity and caused some glitches and delays. But we are working hard and have fixed some problems—while uncovering others—in the natural process of learning and growing. We are as committed to providing you with a great experience as we are to the principles of free speech, respect for privacy, and unfettered access for all.”
Parler remains atop the charts for free apps available in Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, as of Tuesday evening.
But Parler remains much smaller than its established competitors at Facebook and Twitter. Facebook said it had 196 million daily active users in the United States and Canada during 2020’s third quarter, in an announcement of its third-quarter results, and Twitter reported having 187 million daily active users globally, including 152 million users in the United States, in a letter to shareholders on its third-quarter results.