Ye becomes Donald Trump’s social media frenemy

NEW YORK – Ye isn’t afraid to throw good money after a bad idea.

The rapper formerly known as Kanye West is buying social media firm Parler for an undisclosed price. Its biggest asset, former US President Donald Trump, is also its biggest competitor. And the landscape doesn’t look great for either platform.

Parler became the top app downloaded on Apple after Facebook and Twitter banned Trump in early January 2021.

Since then, its popularity has plummeted. Sensor Tower, an analytics platform, estimates just 9,000 people downloaded the app last month, producing revenue of less than US$5,000 (S$7,100).

That may be partly because Trump has launched his own app, Truth Social. But there’s also Twitter. Ye has just 1,700 followers on Parler.

His megaphone on Twitter, which recently restricted his account and deleted posts, reaches 31.4 million people.

If Elon Musk ends up buying Twitter for US$44 billion, the Tesla chief executive will likely let Trump tweet again. That gives the former president’s followers even less reason to engage with Parler and Truth Social.

If Musk wriggles out of the Twitter deal, Parler will still have to compete for Trump’s attention. That leaves Ye looking like the least promising of the three would-be social media tycoons.

ALSO READ: Fashion and politics often go hand in hand – just look at Kanye West

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