Should you accept all those Facebook invites to the social app Parler?

If you logged onto Facebook over the weekend you most likely saw many of your friends talking about a new app called Parler. It’s a social media app that claims to be “non-biased, free speech social media that protect the rights of its users.” Many conservative Facebook users have been posting their new “Parler” handle asking that their friends follow them there. Some have posted that they’ll be deleting their Facebook account soon because they feel Facebook censored content and posts from conservative users.

Parler has been around for a couple of years but in the days before and after the election, new signups surged making Parler the #1 app in Apple’s App Store.

So what is it and what can you expect if you choose to use it?

Parler is much more like Twitter than Facebook. There is a newsfeed of sorts of posts called “Parleys”. Most of the posts I’ve seen so far are political; complaints of censorship, election fraud, and “fake news media”. Conservative bloggers, news outlets, celebrities, and influencers have grabbed user names or “handles” in recent days.

Tweets are Parleys, likes and shares are Echoes

Parler calls shares and likes, “Echoes” and the Parleys are limited to 1,000 characters while Twitter limits tweets to 280.

It is a free app and I haven’t been able to find much information on how Parler’s developers expect to make money except that they’ll generate advertising dollars by using influencers. Parler’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policies are similar in some ways to those of Facebook and Twitter. While Parler doesn’t expressly describe sharing user content with advertisers it appears that the information will be shared with third-party partners. Parler also states that it can gather your information such as IP address to find your approximate location.

Parler does require your email address and phone number to create an account. It also states that the social network can use the content you publish for marketing and advertising without any compensation to you.

This is not the first time Facebook users have threatened to delete their accounts over privacy or security concerns. Whether Parler will become successful in drawing a large audience over time is anyone’s guess.

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