Parler’s parent company Parlement Technologies has laid off three fourth of its staff. Parler gained in popularity in 2020 but its growth has since sagged. The wider troubles in the social media industry are not helping matters either.

After the layoffs, only about 20 employees are left in Parler and Parlement Technologies’ cloud venture. To be sure, layoffs have mounted in tech companies, especially in social media companies.

Elon Musk, for instance, fired almost half of Twitter’s staff after he took over the company. Twitter’s troubles have only compounded ever since Musk acquired the company and vowed to fix the microblogging site.

Meta Platforms also laid off 11,000 employees last year which was 13% of its global workforce. Snap too resorted to layoffs. Global ad spending has been tepid amid the economic slowdown which is hurting the revenues of social media companies.

Meanwhile, Parler is now left with only a handful of employees which puts the very viability of the company under a scanner.

Notably, Parler was founded in 2018 when Donald Trump was the US President. The app became quite popular during Trump’s 2020 campaign and the Verge reported that at its peak before the elections, Parler registered over 7,000 users per minute.

Parler gained in popularity among conservatives many of whom believe that mainstream social media companies are biased against them.

Parler Lays Off Most of Its Employees as Troubles Mount for Social Media Companies

Many social media companies like Rumble and Gettr tried to capitalize on the perception. Rumble incidentally went public last year through a SPAC reverse merger. However, like most other de-SPACs it also trades below the SPAC IPO price of $10.

The US IPO market was dead last year after a strong 2022. However, many private companies like Vietnam’s VinFast are looking to IPO in the US. We have a guide on some of the most awaited IPOs in 2023.

Coming back to Parler, its troubles are not merely due to the slowing ad spending and it faces several other headwinds.

Parler Was Banned from App Stores

After the Capitol Hill violence, both Apple and Alphabet booted Parler from their app stores. Later the app stores allowed Parler downloads on devices. However, the company could never return to its glory days.

Kayne West agreed to buy Parler last year but the two parties mutually terminated the deal in November. Incidentally, West who is now known as Ye has been in controversies and Musk suspended his Twitter account for the alleged antisemitic tweets.

Meanwhile, the real problem for Parler came from the rising competition to target conservative social media users. Trump himself launched his Truth Social network, which like Parler claims to promote free speech.

Truth Social is part of TMTG (Trump Media & Technology Group). TMTG is Trump’s latest business venture through which the former President seeks to challenge what he sees as the tyranny of Big Tech.

TMTG has announced a merger with Digital World Acquisition (NYSE: DWAC) but the merger has faced multiple troubles. Despite all the noise DWAC stock trades above the SPAC IPO price, a rarity in current markets. There is a guide on how to buy DWAC stock.

Truth Social is a competitor to Parler. Meanwhile, Truth Social’s growth has been quite slow as compared to what many expected. Even Trump’s followers on the platform are a fraction of what the former president had on Twitter before his account was suspended.

Elon Musk Reinvented Himself as a “Free Speech Absolutist”

Elon Musk has positioned himself as a “free speech absolutist” even though his conduct might not conform to that. Musk has restored several banned accounts belonging to conservatives. He even restored Trump’s Twitter account but the former president instead wants to build his followers on Truth Social.

With Musk changing Twitter’s content moderation policies, the outlook for conservative social media companies like Parler has got dampened. The “new Twitter” has significantly reduced the appetite for a conservative-friendly social media network like Parler.

The large-scale layoffs at Parler are reflective of the troubles that many social media companies are facing.

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