Alternative Social Media Platforms Prove Stagnant After Mainstream Exodus, Report Finds

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Gettr website - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.01.2022
Alternatives to social media giants Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter saw explosive growth after Donald Trump was banned following the deadly January 6 Capitol insurrection. In the year since, however, many prominent conservative influencers have seen their following on alt social platforms stagnate or decline, according to a Washington Post report.
In particular, 47 influencers on conservative social media sites Gab, Gettr, Rumble, and Telegram have struggled to grow an audience on the niche sites.
Many conservative influencers had seen steady growth on Twitter and Facebook, but 80% of their growth on alternative social media platforms came following Donald Trump’s post-January 6, 2020, ban from mainstream social media.
The analysis also found that voicing outrage over prominent conservatives becoming de-platformed by mainstream social media sites as a result of their violations of terms of service was the best way to attract new followers.
With another Trump social media platform in the works, Truth Social, the landscape for alternative social media platforms, is set to become more crowded, which could be bad news for their long-term health.
According to data from Cisco, Gettr has a mere 4 million accounts, a number that pushed it past Parlor, another right-wing social media site. Gettr’s global footprint is a fraction of Twitter and Facebook’s numbers.
Telegram, which deletes accounts after six months of inactivity, shows that many prominent conservative voices have seen their audience flatline and in most cases decrease since February 2021.
The growth of alternative platforms, largely to service right-wing users, has hit a standstill, according to the report.
Darren Linvill, lead researcher at Clemson University’s Media Forensics Hub, believes the stagnant participation numbers are rooted in their initial appeal.
“Right-wing platforms are one-trick ponies. They’re only going to, by their nature, appeal to the type of person they are branded to appeal to, and there’s only so many people in that world,” Linvill noted.
Asked to comment on the findings, the CEOs of Gab and Gettr suggest that they are not worried about the numbers.
Jason Miller, Gettr CEO, said he is “not at all worried about our business long-term,” adding that “legacy platforms have bigger user bases but they treat them with total disdain.”
Andrew Torba, Gab CEO, was also dismissive of the findings, claiming that they were “irrelevant to Gab’s growth overall as a free speech platform for all people.”
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