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You may have heard about Parler recently, so maybe you're asking yourself: why should I get on Parler? Free speech. I wanted to give a review from a Christian perspective.
I've been using Parler since the end of May 2020, you can find the account we run under username "SoundInWorship". I wanted to write about my experience with Parler, and why I think it is a good platform to get on if you like free speech. There are some who don't like for certain people to have free speech online. That factor alone makes Parler pretty attractive for a social media platform.
I heard about Parler while scrolling through Facebook. It's amazing that I found it because our engagement on Facebook has seemed to take a dip recently. I had heard of "shadow banning";" but thought that maybe it was just a conspiracy theory. I think it does exist in some forms within algorithms and stuff like that. If anyone has some hard data for that please send it on over!
The platform has been quickly identified as a pro-Trump platform. Parler itself calls their platform "Parler Free Speech Social Network" which you can read at the top of your browser (unless you're on the app). As most know, the media, for the most part, has a bias towards non-conservative ideology and politics. Sound in Worship is a Christian worship music website. We're not "Conservative Christian", we're "Christian". "Christian" doesn't need anything before or after it.
I'm not going to get into politics because that's not the reason you came here. How does Parler work? What are the benefits of using Parler? Those questions are most likely why you're here.
Parler works like Twitter in many ways. There is a 1000 character limit on post versus the 280 character limit on Twitter.
So you have more room to get your point across, but you can't go crazy and write a novel like on Facebook. The extra character limit virtually eliminates the need to abbreviate or leave out words.
Another feature that Parler has is the ability to "Echo" a post. It's basically sharing a post. It looks like the below:
You can hashtag and comment on Parler as well. You "follow" users rather than sending friend requests in Facebook (although you can follow users there too).
You can also see how many times your post has appeared in users' timelines (see bottom of the above image). Parler has a neat way of showing engagement stats. The below image shows those stats. This function is only available in the app at this time.
The app provides a smoother experience in my opinion, but I have my laptop up a lot. It gets the job done there as well!
So why did we get on Parler?
We wanted to try something new honestly, and the appeal of free speech was strong. The platform is not a "Christian" platform but you can at least freely share Christian ideas. I don't know about your Facebook newsfeed, but I find that I get a lot more engagement on pictures of random family things, than theology or worship music topics. It seems that there is almost a stigma on Facebook that you shouldn't post theological thoughts on there. People would rather see a picture of your dog.
Also, I've heard many from Christian podcasts and other Christians on Facebook that their engagement has gotten lower and lower. I notice that I scroll through the same things on Facebook for a while, and I also see posts, for the first time, days after they're posted.
I personally notice far more outspoken professing Christians on Parler. It's amazing how that's more possible on this platform. I know that not everything is banned on the other platforms, but they do censor a good bit on those. Sometimes their political bias shows in their censoring. If you end up trying out Parler, you'll see what I mean.
There are also no ads on Parler, which is appealing for a social media platform. You can feel confident that you're seeing posts from users in the order they were posted, and that your timeline is not full of creepy ads.
Instead, Parler gives users the ability to set up a tip system where you can tip users based on posts. You can also pay another user to share your content. You may have no interest in that, but this seems to be an interesting monetization approach. We haven't used the Influence feature yet, but it looks like the below on the app.
Basically, I would encourage you to take a look at Parler. It's a growing platform, and my experience has been positive. I think it is a good place for Christians to post and meet other Christians online. You can post your thoughts freely.
We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to contact us with our contact form.