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Understanding the News: A Portrait of the Parler Audience

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Parler, a conservative social media network, has been in the news quite a bit lately but many people are not familiar with the platform, nor who has been using it. Organizations are continuously challenged to quickly and authentically adapt to rapidly changing environments impacting their consumers, from pandemic concerns to social issues, politics, and the ever-changing media environment. While much is being said about Parler following recent events, to-date, there has been limited data available on the Parler user. Even if Parler’s future is uncertain, the need to better understand the platform’s users will persist.

We used the scale and speed of DISQO’s Audience Platform to gain a current and granular pulse of the Parler user, leveraging behavioral data from over thirty thousand members who opted-in to share their online activities with us between December 12, 2020 and January 12, 2021. To better understand how Parler users felt about the recent changes in social media since the events at the US Capitol on January 6th, we also surveyed these members on January 12, 2021. All of the data was collected from US adults. Together, this yielded unique insights into what Parler users say and how they actually behave. To see how DISQO could help accelerate your insights, please connect with us here.

Prior to January 2021, Parler was a relatively small social media network most well-known in conservative circles. However, once President Trump was removed from Twitter, and then other social media platforms, the number of new Parler users per day jumped significantly… until it stopped completely. On January 11th, Parler was essentially shut down with technology service providers such as Okta and Amazon Web services ceasing to provide service to the platform, taking both the app and website offline.

As the platform was shutting down, DISQO observed that many Parler users began looking for alternative ways to connect. Forty-two percent of Parler users have utilized new social platforms since January 6th, 2021. This is significantly higher than users of other platforms such as Facebook (6%) and Twitter (8%) overall.

Parler billed itself as a platform focused on free speech and drew heavily from people who identify themselves as Republicans (62%), as well as a sizable number of Independents (20%). Both men and women were equally represented on the platform overall, however, for young users, there was a marked difference between the genders. Among users aged 18-25, men (72%) outnumber women (28%) nearly three to one. The majority of the users (57%) were more than 45 years old.

Users in the South were the most represented on the platform (39%), as they are also more likely to be Republican, while there were few users from New England (15%). However, the states with the highest composition of Parler users were the rural mountainous states from north to south.

While a small segment on social media overall, members of the military and veterans over-indexed on Parler (122) compared to other popular social sites such as Facebook (104) and Twitter (88). This is not unexpected as Republicans on social media sites overall over-index for people with a military background (120).

While overall, US adults are in favor of President Trump being removed from social media networks after January 6th (60%), Parler users feel differently. They overwhelmingly feel he should not have been removed (87%) from social media networks, which is not unexpected for a platform that was built on the premise of unrestricted speech.

While Parler is no longer, at least for now, having a portrait of the network’s users and their motivations can be informative as these audiences move to new platforms. With the ability to understand opinions and passive digital behaviors from fully-opted-in consumers, DISQO can generate insights available nowhere else. When researchers, brands, media companies, and others need to understand the digital behaviors and opinions of the US population with a 100% first-party audience, DISQO is the place to call. DISQO’s fraud-free audience willingly shares their experiences, so you have the pulse of consumers you need to stay ahead of the market. To see how DISQO could help accelerate your insights, please connect with us here.

DISQO’s greatest advantage is the opportunity to peek into behavior behind the forbidden “walled gardens’’ by using their identity-based platform instead of using 3rd party cookies to capture ad exposure.”

Bruce Williams

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