Updated: As of Tuesday morning, Parler and MeWe are the #1 and #3 downloaded free apps in the iPhone app store. (Monday night MeWe was in second place and they are currently in the top spot for social networking apps.) Parler is also the top free Android app in the Google Play store, and MeWe is in fourth place.
In the iPhone app store, Parler and MeWe beat out TikTok and YouTube for the top spot. Instagram is in 7th place. Facebook and Facebook messenger are in 8th and 9th place. Twitter is in 15th place.
In the Google Play app store for Android phone users, Twitter does not break into the top ten and Facebook does not break the top 30.
Starting late last week there has been a grassroots effort to encourage conservatives to leave Facebook and Twitter over censorship concerns.
Parler promotes itself as the “world’s town square.” They write, “Speak freely and express yourself openly, without fear of being ‘deplatformed’ for your views. Engage with real people, not bots. Parler is people and privacy-focused, and gives you the tools you need to curate your Parler experience.”
“Based in Henderson, Nevada, Parler is the solution to problems that have surfaced in recent years due to changes in Big Tech policy influenced by various special-interest groups. Parler is built upon a foundation of respect for privacy and personal data, free speech, free markets, and ethical, transparent corporate policy,” their website says.
It functions more like Twitter, but users can write longer posts.
MeWe functions more like Facebook.
“MeWe is inspired by trust, control, and love for social media users,” the MeWe Network says.
While Parler’s driving motivation for launching was free speech, MeWe’s focus is privacy.
“MeWe began in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a vision hatched over a dinner between good friends who were early founders of social media. With Facebook all the rage, they felt something critically human was getting lost: the spirit of our democracy and the backbone of our privacy. The big technology companies, you know who they are, had reverted to treating us as commodities. They somehow mistook people signing up to use their services as a welcome invitation to target, track, spy, and sell our information to advertisers and the government. All in all, it felt pretty creepy,” their “about” page reads.
MeWe also offers a “Privacy Bill of Rights.”