One of the The more interesting technology projects today are the work being done to create conservative alternatives to big pieces of internet technology. Most of this effort is centered on social networking, with projects like Parler and Gab and Gettr becoming popular among people who pay attention to new platforms.
But there are other, more ambitious efforts. There is a service was built to replicate Stripe led by a conservative media personality, for example. Former President Donald Trump is working on merging his own technology company – Trump Media and Technology Group – with a SPAC as well. And perhaps most famously, Rumble takes YouTube and the bigger cloud.
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It’s unclear how well these efforts will fare in the long term. Most startups fail, and taking on the biggest and richest tech companies outright is an ambitious proposition.
Some famous people are involved. Well-known tech investor Peter Thiel supported by Rumbleas did JD Vance, now a US senator thank you in part of Thiel’s investment in his campaign. Rumble parlayed his prominence in conservative circles into host of Republican debates, exclusive content tailored to its audience. The YouTube alternative has also attracted conservative influencers, providing a kind of refuge from Google’s own offering for those disillusioned with what Big Tech has to offer. (Rumble also offers sports-related content.)
Competition is good, and when some people want to build tools and services that they think will benefit an underserved audience, that’s motivation. But what we learned this week is that such efforts are often very expensive. New data from the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) and Rumble make that abundantly clear.
This morning, we will parse new data from TMTG and Rumble that will help us better understand how far right social media services have long-term goals of building a less limited digital infrastructure.
How much does that cost?
Rumble is a real company that does business as a publicly traded entity. TMTG is relatively nascent. This is the SPAC presentation deck waxes about its potential, but when we see its latest results, it is clear that the company is too small.