Will Kanye West Buying Parler Legitimize It Enough?

Ariel Ariel
10/21/22

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #136 - What a Mess!. Check out the full article for more insights.


There's a lot going on with Kanye West right now, none of which I really want to think about, except for this one thing he did on Monday that is relevant to our industry.

After getting himself banned from both Instagram and Twitter, Kanye West decided to join the alternative social platform movement.

And by joining, I mean channeling his inner Elon Musk and acquiring the OG platform - Parler.

If you recall, last time I looked at Parler's downloads, things weren't looking all that great. Just a few hundred downloads a day.

After Kanye's acquisition announcement, Parler's downloads grew more than 2,000%! Daily downloads averaged around 500 per day last week. They were higher the week before, but only as a result of the app launching on Google Play a few weeks ago.

On Monday, the day of the announcement, downloads rose to 10K, and on Tuesday, doubled to 20K. It could be natural curiosity given all the news coverage, but it could mean something else.

But first, a fun fact. Excited to share the news with their "VIP" users, Parler sent an email about the acquisition which had all those VIPs in the CC field of the email. That's the wrong way of sending emails, and ended up exposing the full list to everyone on it, which leaked to the media very fast.

Ouch!

Now what? Kanye's latest series of battles is hurting his popularity but isn't killing it. He still has many millions of fans, some of which don't know enough about politics. Those fans could follow Kanye to Parler not knowing what they're stepping into.

That could be good for the platform because it'll (finally) get more users on both ends of the political spectrum, but it's also possible those new users won't bring an opinion from home and rather let what they see on Parler shape their opinion.

I'm not taking any sides here and just looking at the data.

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