Conservative social media app Parler became the No. 1 app in Apple’s App Store on Saturday, less than 24 hours after Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s personal Twitter accounts on Friday.
According to mobile app analytics company Sensor Tower, yesterday Parler was the No. 11 app on the tech giant’s rankings and was installed approximately 210,000 times globally, up from 55,000 (281%) the day before, which made a huge jump from the day before that.
“In the U.S., the app saw approximately 182,000 first-time downloads on 1/8, up 355% from about 40,000 installs on 1/7,” a Sensor Tower spokesperson told TheWrap Saturday. “Since Wednesday, the app has seen approximately 268,000 installs from across U.S. app stores.”
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Update: By Saturday afternoon, though, Apple had pulled Parler from its App Store after finding that the app violated Apple’s rules by failing to sufficiently monitor violent content in the wake of Wednesday’s siege on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Parler, which was launched in 2018, has a very large user base of Trump supporters, many of whom have been banned from other social platforms. It frequently contains far-right content and conspiracy theories. On Friday, Trump was banned from Twitter due to “the risk of further incitement of violence” following Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. Parler was temporarily suspended from the Google Play store the same day for lacking “robust moderation for egregious content.”
“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence. All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months,” a Google spokesperson told TheWrap.
Representatives for Parler did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment Friday, but Parler CEO John Matze said on the platform that his company “will not cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors” and “politically motivated companies.”
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Apple acted one day after demanding that Parler create a “moderation improvement plan” to address complaints about “objectionable content” and Parler users who intended to “plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property,” Apple wrote in a letter to Parler, BuzzFeed News reported. “The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”
Apple did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment Saturday on Sensor Tower’s data regarding the Parler app or an inquiry about if the app will be pulled.