- The Washington Times - Monday, November 9, 2020

In the aftermath of election projections showing Joseph R. Biden as the presumptive president-elect, the burgeoning social media platform Parler has surged to the top of Apple and Google’s app stores’ charts driven by conservatives looking for a refuge from established social media platforms run by Big Tech companies.

Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store both displayed Parler as the top free app available in their stores on Monday afternoon, trending ahead of such apps as TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and many others.

Following election projections on Saturday, new downloads of Parler appeared to send the app rocketing up the app store charts. Dan Bongino, a conservative commentator and Parler investor, tweeted Sunday that Parler was “adding thousands of users per minute.”

“All, Can’t thank you enough for making Parler the # 1 app in the country. I’m asking for your patience while we deal with the exponential growth,” Mr. Bongino said on Twitter. “I personally assure you that we’re working around the clock to improve the experience & add features. My apologies for the glitches.”

Many conservatives began joining Parler amid prominent social media platforms cracking down on President Trump and his supporters. Since Saturday’s start, Twitter has tagged or labeled 15 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 organized by the pro-Trump nonprofit Women for America First. The group garnered 350,000 followers in under 24 hours, according to its creator, Women for America First co-founder Amy Kremer, before Facebook took action and said it saw “worrying calls for violence from some members of the group.”

As Mr. Trump’s supporters look for new mediums to organize and socialize online, Parler has emerged as an early front-runner for an alternative to established platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

In June, Parler CEO John Matze told The Washington Times that his platform had 1.5 million daily active users. Parler has not yet provided data on how its daily active users have grown amid its move atop the app store charts.

Facebook and Twitter are much larger than Parler. Facebook said it had 196 million daily active users in the United States and Canada during 2020’s third quarter, according to an announcement of its third-quarter results.

Facebook’s daily active users dropped 2 million users from 2020’s second quarter but were up nearly 9 million users year-over-year for the third quarter.

Twitter said it had 187 million daily active users globally, including 152 million users in the United States, according to a letter to shareholders on its third-quarter performance. The platform said its active users’ data showed it had grown by 1 million into 2020’s third quarter but was up 29% year-over-year.

Several prominent conservative users and groups are posting messages on platforms such as Twitter that direct their followers to join them on Parler this week.

“Parler is exploding. I went from 500,000 followers there a couple of weeks ago to 1.2 million currently,” said Dinesh D’Souza, conservative commentator, on Twitter. “This is the hip new platform where the air is free and you can speak your mind. Follow me there!”

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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