Brad Parscale, President Donald Trump’s campaign manager, directed a tweet at Twitter Inc. itself on June 18. “Hey @twitter your days are numbered,” he wrote. The post showed a screenshot of a tweet from the president that Twitter had flagged as containing manipulated media, along with an endorsement of Parler, a social network that markets itself as a pro-free-speech alternative. But since then, Parscale has sent over 150 tweets. He has sent only three Parleys, the official name of posts on Parler.
Parscale’s initial endorsement was part of a miniature wave last month of conservatives pushing Parler as respite from the social media networks they saw as dangerously liberal. The app has been downloaded 2.5 million times, and almost half those came last month, according to Sensor Tower, a firm that tracks the mobile app business. While that number is substantial, it’s a small fraction of an app like, say, TikTok, which has more than 2 billion downloads and adds tens of millions each month. So far in July, over half of Parler’s installations have come from Brazil.