Social network Parler announced Monday that rap star Kanye West (now Ye) had agreed to buy their platform. The smaller social network that has been active since 2018 and brands itself as the "Global Free Speech App" is known for its conservative to far-right user base. West was recently banned from Twitter after a string of anti-semitic and other inflammatory remarks. Parler has the largest number of users among several alternative right-oriented microblogging platforms that have recently sprung up - among them Truth Social founded by Donald Trump after he also had been banned from Twitter in January 2021.
As our chart based on company statements and research by Data AI shows, Twitter clones will have a hard time catching up to their inspiration despite the buzz. Parler most recently said it had 16.5 registered users, while Gettr said it had 4.5 million at the beginning of the year. While no user data for Truth Social was published by the company, Data AI estimated in August that it had been downloaded around 3 million times with a big increase in demand happening after the FBI raid of Trump property Mar-a-Lago. This all pales in comparison to Twitter's daily active users of more than 200 million and total registered user numbers that are even higher.
But Twitter itself might also be in for some changes to its content policy in the future. After some back and forth, it now seems likely again that Tesla CEO Elon Musk will buy the social media platform for roughly $44 billion or $54.20 per share. He already acquired a nine-percent stake in the company in April. Under Musk, the microblogging service established in July 2006 will allegedly be further tooled towards propagating free speech, an idea the tech entrepreneur called the "bedrock of a functioning democracy". According to Sky News, a decision will be made by October 28.