Melania Trump Will Make Parler 'Her Social Media Home' Even as Donald Plans His Own Platform

Sources have told PEOPLE that, since leaving Washington, D.C., the former first lady has enjoyed the seclusion of living in Florida

Melania Trump doesn't use social media all that often — but, in the future, anyone hoping to see what she has to say will have to use the controversial social media platform Parler.

The announcement comes as the former first lady's husband, former President Donald Trump, has insisted he will soon be launching his own social media platform, called TRUTH.

In a statement issued earlier this week, Parler announced Mrs. Trump had engaged the platform "in a special arrangement for her social media communications" through an eponymous account on the platform. Per the statement's headline, Mrs. Trump is set to "Make Parler Her Social Media Home."

"I am excited and inspired by free speech platforms that give direct communication to people worldwide. Parler has been on the forefront of utilizing Web3 technology and empowers its users to foster productive discourse," Mrs. Trump said in the press release.

A spokeswoman for her tells PEOPLE she plans to "share exclusive stories, information, upcoming launches, and additional content to inspire others" but that her "multi-faceted" work with Parler goes beyond just posting. It will also include more of Mrs. Trump's burgeoning work with digital collectibles including "in the Web3 space."

Parler, which was founded in 2018, drew intense scrutiny in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots given that some of the participants coordinated their activities on its service, according to the Associated Press.

Parler has also become popular with right-wing figures who argue they are being targeted by mainstream companies who regulate certain kinds of threatening, hateful and false speech.

First Lady Melania Trump is pictured during a meeting with Polish President's wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (Unseen) at the Belvedere Palace in Warsaw on July 6, 2017
Melania Trump. ANDRZEJ HULIMKA/AFP via Getty

President Trump himself was banned from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a slew of other major social media platforms after his supporters stormed the Capitol last year.

He has since said he plans to launch his own new social media app, TRUTH, some time this year. But many questions remain about the future service.

An announcement posted in October on a website for the Trump Media & Technology Group said the company's purported mission was "to create a rival to the liberal media consortium and fight back against the 'Big Tech' companies of Silicon Valley, which have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America."

That plan includes the launch of TRUTH, a beta version of which the company said would be available by invitation only in November with a nationwide rollout "expected in the first quarter of 2022." (That launch has since been delayed).

Mrs. Trump's new partnership with Parler extends beyond the social media app. The platform is also powering her recent foray into non-fungible tokens or NFTs, which she launched in December through her website.

The first NFT from her new endeavor was titled "Melania's Vision" — which depicted a watercolor painting of her eyes by the artist Marc-Antoine Coulon and was available through Dec. 31 for $187.58.

Donald Melania trump
From left: Donald and Melania Trump. Chris Kleponis/Getty Images

Another NFT was also sold at an auction of items related to the former first lady in January, though that sale suffered somewhat due to the ebbs and flows of the novel cryptocurrency market. (According to Vice, blockchain records from that sale also suggest that whomever set up the auction also ultimately placed the winning bid, while Mrs. Trump's office told Vice it was merely "facilitated on behalf of a third-party buyer.")

Mrs. Trump has said she is also continuing work on her "Be Best" initiative for children's welfare, which she began while in the White House. A portion of proceeds from her last auction were to benefit charity, but it's unclear how much and a spokeswoman did not say.

Sources told PEOPLE that, since leaving Washington, D.C., in 2021, she has enjoyed the seclusion of living in Florida.

"She knows what Donald wants from her," one source said in January, "but the rest of her life is dictated by her own interests. Each has come to respect what the other wants and needs."

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