Kanye West is buying the social media platform Parler, the company announced Monday.
Parler calls the acquisition “a groundbreaking move [in] the free speech media space.” The company says West purchased the platform to “never have to fear being removed from social media again.”
Twitter and Instagram locked West out of his accounts earlier this month after he tweeted his plans to go “death con 3″ on Jewish people.
The history of Parler is short but newsworthy. The service gained fame around the 2020 presidential election when high-profile conservative accounts moved from Twitter and Facebook to Parler amid valid concerns over censorship. Most notably, radio host Mark Levin left Twitter and Facebook in favor of Parler in December 2020.
Podcast host Dan Bongino also helped market Parler, in which he also had an equity stake. Bongino mainstreamed Parler into the conversation.
While Parler could never challenge the established Big Tech brands, it had emerged as a respected alternative. Parler, for a short period, was to Twitter what Rumble is now to YouTube.
But then came Jan. 6, when Amazon Web Services (AWS) disconnected Parler from its servers. AWS halted Parler’s growth by removing it from the internet. Apple and Google deleted the site from their app stores, as well. Users could no longer access their Parler accounts anywhere on the web.
The company eventually built new servers but struggled to prevent routine functionality failures. Parler never recovered from Big Tech’s attack.
In the meantime, Donald Trump ate away at the market demand for an alternative social media service. Truth Social hovers around 144,000 daily active users.
So, Parler is of diminished market demand despite its sale to West. Furthermore, Elon Musk appears en route to acquiring Twitter Inc. Musk recently revived a bid to buy Twitter at the original price of $54.20 a share, backtracking on his effort to terminate the agreement.
Truth and Parler would be of little interest if Musk can ease Twitter’s crackdown on free speech, his mission from the start.