Kanye West agrees to buy Parler

STORY: Locked out of his Instagram and Twitter accounts, rapper Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, has agreed to buy social media company Parler, its parent company said on Monday (October 17).

Parler -- popular among U.S. conservatives -- was kicked off Google and Apple’s app stores following the storming of the U.S. Capitol in January 2021 but has recently been reinstated.

George Farmer, the CEO of Parler’s parent company, told Reuters that deal talks with Ye only started recently as the rapper has faced recent backlash on social media.

On Oct. 3 he wore a shirt with the phrase: “White Lives Matter”.

Less than a week later he was locked out of his Instagram account for posts that several Jewish groups called anti-Semitic.

He then returned to Twitter for the first time in years... that account was soon locked too.

Social media consultant Matt Navarra says he sees a lot of similarities between Ye’s purchase of Parler and the much bigger deal between billionaire Elon Musk and Twitter.

“...Like Elon, Kanye is another character that has a reputation for being quite polarizing and posting things that can cause a lot of upset on the platforms that he posted on. And so buying into a social platform where he has more control and ownership, I guess you can see why that might be appealing."

For some it’s a worrying trend—and see danger when major platforms are in the hands of a wealthy few, says Metaforce co-founder Allen Adamson.

"It means that media, which used to be a impartial provider of information, is being polarized by very influential wealthy individuals on both sides.. Elon Musk recently going after Twitter. Jeff Bezos previously buying The Washington Post, which is more to the left. [FLASH] You will either tune into the world owned by Elon Musk and Kanye West, or you'll get tuned in to get information from a world not owned by them. And this polarization makes it increasingly difficult for information to get out in an objective, unbiased manner."

Research firm Apptopia estimates Parler has been installed 11.7 million times since launch and has 40,000 daily active users.

The Nashville-based company, which has raised about $56 million to date, said it expects the deal with Ye to close during the fourth quarter of 2022.

It did not give a value of the deal.

Forbes estimates Ye to have a net worth of $2 billion.