Mar 16, 2021 - Economy

Conservatives build alternate digital universe

Monthly downloads of U.S. right-wing apps

Over the past six months, apps catered to conservatives have hit new milestones, although they are starting to lose some of the traction they gained in the month following the aftermath of the Capitol siege.

Why it matters: Conservatives have long created their own media channels via print, radio and television to combat the perceived left-wing bias of mainstream outlets. The creation of new social media networks, streaming sites and digital media apps is the next iteration of that decades-long trend.

Driving the news: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell told Business Insider last week that he's planning to create a new social media site called Vocl. Lindell, who has been banned from Twitter, says the app will be a cross between Twitter and YouTube.

  • In the past year, several social networks have gained popularity among conservatives, including Rumble, a YouTube alternative; Parler, a Twitter alternative; MeWe, a Facebook alternative, and CloutHub, which is sort of like a Reddit alternative.
  • Gab, the social network commonly used by conservatives that bills itself as a free speech platform, said recently that it's working on its own version of Clubhouse, the audio-first social app.
  • The Daily Wire is launching a subscription entertainment streaming service, akin to Netflix, that caters to conservatives. BlazeTV's subscription service also focuses on streaming, but focuses more on commentary than entertainment.

Be smart: Many of these apps, like MeWe, CloutHub and to an extent Parler, weren't originally created specifically for conservatives, but were embraced by them as they fled what they describe as censorship on mainstream networks like Twitter and Facebook.

  • Some of the apps, like Newsmax and OANN, exist mainly as cable properties, so app downloads only represent a partial view of their popularity.
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