(Corine Gatti, Headline USA) Starboard, formerly known as Olympic Media, announced Friday that it has successfully acquired free-speech social network Parler from parent company Parlement Technologies Inc., after the deal with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, failed.
“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,” Ryan Coyne, CEO of Starboard, told the Wall Street Journal. “The team at Parler has built an exceptional audience and we look forward to integrating that audience across all of our existing platforms.”
The purchase also will give Starboard a chance to serve “unsupported online communities by building a home for them away from the ad hoc regulatory hand of platforms that hate them,” Coyne added. “It’s going to take a breath of fresh air.”
In order to properly assess its strategic value and the potential opportunities to serve marginalized or censored communities, “the app will be pulled down from operations,” said a press release.
Starboard was founded in 2018 and the company publishes websites that include the conservative leaning BizPac Review and American Wire News.
When Parler was founded in 2018, it quickly made a name for itself as a free speech alternative to the heavily censored platform Twitter and Facebook. It quickly became a platform of choice for a number of different individuals and groups, with the most vocal user base coming from conservative commentators like Alex Jones.
Parler has been steadily gaining momentum with more than 250,000 monthly users as of March 2021. Though it’s still a fraction of the monthly user numbers of other popular social networks, such as Facebook and TikTok, the steady growth shows that Parler is on the rise.
George Farmer, the CEO of Parler, will be stepping down from his role and handing the reigns to Igor Shalkevich, the current Chief Development Officer of Parler.