I’ve written about Parler a few times in the past.
To recap Parler marketed itself as social network for free speech extremists. While the marketing pitch might have used the “free speech” angle, the reality is that the social network pandered to and attracted the far right.
Late last year controversial musician Ye announced that he was going to buy the platform, but that deal fizzled out.
Now the site and service has been acquired by Starboard. There isn’t much information about the deal or what they intend to do with the social media service, if anything, but for now the site and service are offline. What is interesting is that the press release announcing the acquisition clearly acknowledges that basing their business model around being a twitter clone for the far right isn’t viable. They don’t make clear what they think is viable or how acquiring Parler helps them to achieve that, as the announcement talks about services that to the best of my knowledge Parler wasn’t offering.
Is Parler gone for good, or will it come back under a modified guise? Starboard claim that they run businesses in the digital media space, though their official site has no details of any of them.
Here’s the full announcement:
Starboard (Formerly, Olympic Media) announced today that it has concluded the acquisition of Parler, the world’s pioneering uncancelable free speech platform.
No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business any more. By refocusing on the cloud and IT infrastructure space George Farmer has done an exceptional job at successfully leading Parlement into a critically important industry where it has already begun to excel.
Starboard is the perfect home for the Parler brand and its longtime loyal users. “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.” said Ryan Coyne, CEO of Starboard.
While the Parler app as it is currently constituted will be pulled down from operation to undergo a strategic assessment, we at Starboard see tremendous opportunities across multiple sectors to continue to serve marginalized or even outright censored communities – even extending beyond domestic politics.
Advancements in AI technology, along with the existing code base and other new features, provide an opportunity for Starboard to begin servicing unsupported online communities – building a home for them away from the ad-hoc regulatory hand of platforms that hate them.
The terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed although Starboard expects the deal to be accretive by the end of Q2 2023.