what to expect from the social network that competes with Twitter – WAU
Parler is a microblog, developed along the lines of Twitter. He was born in 2018 and has grown from a well-defined position: offering freedom of expression to the most conservative groups in society. Learn more about the controversies surrounding Parler.
Parler does not hide that its goal is to be an alternative for those who are not satisfied with Twitter.
Created in 2018, the platform has features very similar to its direct competitor and uses a good argument in its favor: does not intend to control users’ publications.
The strategy is very clear. He is taking advantage of the pressure that Twitter has been under in the United States to exercise greater control over users’ posts.
More than that, it has presented itself as an option for those who have been suspended or banned from social networks.
For those who like controversy, there is another ingredient in the dispute: O Parler has attracted more conservative followers. In the United States, for example, it won the support of defenders of President Donald Trump.
Curious to better understand the origins and development of the new social network? We have gathered some information on the subject. Check out!
What is Parler?
In terms of functionality, Parler is very similar to Twitter. What is quite different from the other platform is its positioning, not to mention the reasons that motivated its creation.
Parler presents itself as an “anti censorship” platform, in favor of freedom of expression. The idea is that the users themselves deal with possible abuses.
These values are highlighted in their institutional texts, which emphasize respect for the ideas and positions of their followers.
Apparently, it’s cool, right? But there is more behind this story: it started to house many users who were blocked on Twitter and Facebook.
One of his main followers is Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York. A supporter of the Trump administration and a member of the American right, he attracted some followers of his group to Parler.
Reuters recently made a report to further investigate adherences to the new platform. According to the report, many users come from Saudi Arabia.
How did Parler come about?
Created in 2018, the app was born based on the mobile first concept. As comparisons are inevitable, we must say that the layout resembles the mobile version of Twitter.
On the computer, the format of the website can be compared to that adopted in the discussion forums.
This is not an innovative business model: the proposal is that the platform survive from the money of the publicity and offering tools for publishers.
As Parler does not yet have a large number of followers, some users see it as an advantage that the network is not in the sights of the American government.
It is no secret that Twitter, like what has happened with Facebook, has been charged to mediate conversations more effectively, avoiding abuse.
With that, we have witnessed the intensification of debates on freedom of expression in the digital environment.
What has Parler’s trajectory been?
Leaving aside disagreements, let’s analyze some data from Parler:
- according to information released in the American press, the application had about 100 thousand followers until May 2019. In June, that number rose to 200 thousand people;
- to understand its growth, you need to know the backstage. The app was launched in August 2018, but until December it didn’t have much representation. This started to change when famous figures of the American right started to promote its use;
- one of the emblematic cases was the entry of Candace Owens, director of communications for Turning Point. She had her account suspended on Twitter after making a series of posts accusing Sarah Jeong, who sits on the Times’ Board of Directors, for doing “racism against whites”.
How has the social network grown?
Controversies favor Parler. In December last year, amid debates over banning Twitter, it was one of the most downloaded apps in the United States at the Apple store.
Taking advantage of the buzz, the platform’s creator went on a daring strategy: he made a kind of “reservation” of profiles for figures he would like to see in Parler. The action drew attention to the prominence of “guests”, such as Donald Trump (@DonaldJTrumpJr).
The only however of the strategy is that the platform, apparently, was not technically prepared for the increase in demand. There were complaints related to the delay in loading the page.
How does Parler work?
As we explained, Parler’s features are very similar to that of Twitter. But it has an important differential: instead of 280 characters, posts can reach 1000 characters.
It is impossible to say whether the success of the platform will be long-term or temporary. What is known is that the founder, entrepreneur John Matze, has invested in the development of the platform and defended the need for users to have alternatives to freely express their ideas.
According to information from the site, today more than 700 new posts are published per hour.
In his interviews, Matze argues that there is a restriction on the freedom of expression of conservative groups, which have more freedom in Parler.
Does social network have “ideology”?
It is worth noting that Parler is not the first experience in this regard. In 2016, in the midst of the North American presidential elections, Gab was created with a similar speech, presenting itself as an option for right-wing users.
With the wave of bans on Twitter and Facebook, the numbers grew, including in London.
According to data available on the website itself, Gab.com currently has almost 1 million registered users worldwide. The main markets are the United States (with 51% of users), London (10%), the United Kingdom (6%), Canada (6%) and Germany (3%).
The debates in Gab were not restricted to politics (right versus left, conservative versus liberal). They involved more critical issues, related, for example, to racist and anti-Semitic movements.
In view of the repercussions caused by the posts, companies like Google and Apple announced the withdrawal of the application from their respective app stores. There were also problems with Internet servers and companies that manage online payment methods.
Today Gab is raising funds, via crowdfunding, to have its own platform.
In recent interviews, its founder criticized competitor Parler, questioning whether he will be able to establish himself as a right-wing social network.
What would Parler and Gab like? May President Donald Trump bring to them part of his 60 million Twitter followers.
In May 2019, bets in this direction increased in favor of Parler. Is that Brad Parscale, campaign manager at Trump, made an account on the social network and met with Matze.
How are the marks in this environment?
For those who work with social networks, it is important to monitor this movement. After all, we need to be prepared for the changes, right?
From the perspective of brands, it is difficult to imagine that very radical social networks, which feed extremist positions, can serve the purposes of companies.
First, because of the risk of endorsing conspiracy theories. Brands need healthy environments they can trust.
Respect for political beliefs is part of the game. However, brands need to preserve themselves, they cannot run the risk of associating with groups that feed any type of discrimination.
And how are the Twitter numbers?
Worldwide, Twitter is one of the most popular networks, with 300 million users. In London, according to data from Statista, there was a 63% drop in the base from 2013 to 2018. But the numbers are still representative: 30 million registered users in the country.
In our Social Trends 2019 survey, the downward trend was also captured. Twitter’s share among respondents fell from 44.6% in 2017 to 30.4% in 2019.
In announcing its results in the last quarter of 2018, the company disclosed that the drop in the number of users was not a surprise. According to the company, more than 70 million fake profiles were suspended.
The social network claims that “cleanliness” should improve the environment on the platform and that it does not impact metrics for advertising companies.
Despite the fall in the company’s stock value, the changes have not yet resulted in a reduction in the company’s profits.
Since the numbers of Parler followers are still low, there should not be an immediate migration of advertisers. However, it is important to monitor these movements between social networks. They can even reveal insights to be worked on by brands, right?
In the era of digital transformation, it is natural for new platforms to appear. And, due to the importance of social networks for brands, it is essential to keep an eye on trends in this area.
Although there are not many certainties about what will happen, there can be no denying the intensification of debates about the need for greater control of this environment. If the subject interests you, be sure to read our article on the European copyright project.