As Heidi Klum used to famously say: “In fashion, one day you’re in and the next day you’re out.” So it also goes for social networks. The explosive growth enjoyed by both Parler and MeWe before and around the presidential election has fallen off sharply in its aftermath, according to a recent analysis by Apptopia.
The analysis looked at daily active users and downloads in the U.S. between October 25 and December 5. Adam Blacker, Apptopia’s vice president of insights and global alliances, tells Fast Company that engagement is also declining and he expects it will soon be where it was pre-election.
At the end of June, Parler, a social network popular with conservatives, had climbed to the top of the App Store charts thanks to its promise of a “free speech” alternative to Twitter. When Fast Company‘s own Mark Sullivan joined the service earlier this year, he found the two-year-old platform a gathering place for the likes of Ted Cruz, the Trump sons, Rudy Giuliani, and other right-wingers to share news and grouse about other social media’s “censoring” of their political views. Parler then amassed nearly a million downloads between November 3 and November 8 for a total of 3.6 million.
MeWe, which Fast Company dubbed one of the Most Innovative Companies in the social media arena this year, didn’t quite match Parler’s numbers, but it still did a brisk business in downloads pre-election. The promise of no ads, no targeting, and a privacy bill of rights catapulted the two-year-old startup to triple-digit growth early on. It’s now on par with Parler, hovering well below 10,000 downloads, according to Apptopia.