Kanye West agrees to buy social media app Parler

(Reuters) – U.S. rapper Kanye West has agreed in principle to buy social media platform Parler, popular among conservative U.S. rappers, parent company Parliament Technologies said on Monday.

The Nashville-based Parler Company, which has raised about $56 million so far, said it expects to close the deal during the fourth quarter of 2022. It did not say the value of the deal.

The Parler app, which launched in 2018, has been brought back to the Google and Apple Inc app stores after being removed following the riots at the United States Capitol in January 2021. Parler is one of several social media platforms, including Gettr and Gab and Truth Social, which positions itself as free speech alternatives to Twitter Inc (TWTR.N).

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

Last month, Parler created a new parent company, Parlement Technologies Inc, as part of an overhaul.

In an interview with Reuters on Monday, Parlement Technologies CEO George Farmer said deal talks with Ye began recently, after Paris Fashion Week.

In Paris on October 3, Yi, who is also a fashion designer, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words: “White Lives Matter.” Four days later, he posted posts on Instagram that several Jewish groups described as anti-Semitic. Meta Platforms (META.O), which owns Instagram and Facebook, has suspended Ye from his Instagram account due to the posts.

Yi then moved to Twitter, where she posted on October 8 for the first time in two years; Soon Twitter closed his account.

CEO Farmer said the Parler deal came together quickly, and Parlerment got a “chance.”

“The catalyst for him was the discussion about his ban on Instagram.” Farmer declined to comment on whether the deal included a breakup fee if either party terminated it.

Yi in September ended his partnership with apparel retailer Gap Inc (GPS.N), while German sporting goods maker Adidas (ADSGn.DE) said October 6 it was reviewing its business partnership with the rapper.

Farmer said Monday that he is not concerned about the prospects for Parler’s ads under Yi.

“I see this as a warning shot for companies that want to remove people from the platform,” Farmer said. “There are a growing number of advertisers who want to advertise in this space.”

It looks like Yi joined Parler on Monday and had about 91 followers at the time of the announcement. He now has 3900.

“In a world where conservative views are controversial, we must make sure that we have the right to express ourselves freely,” he said in a statement.

Farmer says Parler has 16.5 million registered users. Research firm Apptopia estimates that the platform has been installed 11.7 million times since its launch, with an estimated 40,000 daily active users.

Forbes magazine estimates Ye has a net worth of $2 billion.

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

Additional reporting by Tayashi Datta and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru and Helen Koster in New York; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Dhanya Ann Thoppil

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

#Kanye #West #agrees #buy #social #media #app #Parler

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *