Shares of Rumble (RUM) and Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) skyrocketed in after-hours trading on Thursday following reports that a grand jury in Manhattan had voted to indict former President Donald Trump. Following news of the indictment, both Truth Social and Rumble saw considerable spikes in traffic.
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While the indictment remains under seal, sources say it is likely to be announced in the coming days. Rumble, a video-focused platform that pitches itself as “immune to cancel culture,” saw its shares surge by 17.5% after hours, while Digital World Acquisition Corp, the company planning to take Trump’s social media ventures public, was up by 11.2%.
The surge in both right-leaning social media stocks was assisted by Rumble’s earnings, which were released Thursday after hours.
The Youtube competitor’s fourth-quarter earnings report showed that the platform is making solid gains, with an increase in user count and engagement — particularly during the U.S. midterms in November.
The company’s revenue for the quarter came in at a staggering $19.9 million, compared to just $2.9 million in the prior-year quarter, and compared to an estimated $10.2 million. Average monthly active users also jumped to 80 million, up from 33 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. Rumble has also launched a slew of new features including new notification features for iOS and Android, and new interfaces on Android and Roku.
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For right-wing social media platforms, these gains couldn’t have come at a better time. Prior to this quarter, both of these companies had been struggling to gain ground against their far larger rivals, such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
That said, these platforms have gained some traction with a few celebrities, including conservative personalities like Steven Crowder and comedians like Russell Brand. Still, their biggest criticism is that both Rumble and DWAC’s Truth Social are a breeding ground for misinformation.
An investigation from the news-ratings site NewsGuard found that “Rumble frequently pushes videos from untrustworthy sources that traffic in election misinformation.” That said, for Rumble, this is a give and take situation. In order to quell “misinformation,” one has to first figure out an unbiased way to determine what is and isn’t misinformation. According to proponents of Rumble, this is a strategy that has backfired in the past for other social media companies — particularly in situations where something originally deemed misinformation turns out to be factual.
Despite these criticisms, Rumble currently has a market value of roughly $3.6 billion, and has received investments from billionaire Peter Thiel and Republican Senator J.D. Vance. And, if you listen to Twitter CEO Elon Musk, Trump’s indictment is likely to broaden his platform and draw him into the spotlight once again — providing a reasonable thesis for why these right-leaning social media platforms are rallying. Only time will tell if this momentum can be sustained, but for now, the future looks bright for these up-and-coming platforms.