Parler, the social media platform that gained popularity in the wake of the Trump era, has been acquired by digital media conglomerate Starboard, which plans to temporarily shut it down before relaunching it in a revamped version.
The acquisition deal was announced on Friday, and the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Starboard is confident that the acquisition will be profitable by the end of the second quarter of 2023.
Starboard owns conservative-leaning platforms American Wire and BizPac Review, and the company believes that the advancements in artificial intelligence and the addition of new features will allow Parler to “begin servicing unsupported online communities.” According to Starboard CEO Ryan Coyne, “Parler’s large user base and additional strategic assets represent an enormous opportunity for Starboard to continue to build aggressively in our media and publishing business. The team at Parler has built an exceptional audience, and we look forward to integrating that audience across all of our existing platforms.”
Parler was founded in 2018, and in 2021, it gained significant popularity after social media giants Twitter and Facebook banned former President Donald Trump from their platforms. Parler attracted many of his supporters who were looking for a less stringent social media platform that would allow them to express their opinions freely. The platform’s user base grew rapidly, and it faced backlash for its tolerance of hate speech and extremist content.
Earlier this year, an acquisition agreement between Parler and rapper Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, fell through. Parler’s owner and Ye had “mutually” parted ways without closing the deal, the social network said at the time.
The temporary shutdown of Parler will allow Starboard to implement new features and improve community guidelines to ensure that the platform does not promote extremist content. Parler’s relaunch is expected to appeal to the conservative user base, who were disappointed with the previous shutdown of the platform.