In April 2022, Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter led to the departure of Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former CEO, in May of the same year. Following his exit, Dorsey embarked on the development of his own decentralized social network called Bluesky with the aim of competing with Twitter.
However, it's important to note that Bluesky originated as an internal project within Twitter back in 2019. Despite its inception within Twitter, Bluesky has not been officially launched as an independent platform separate from Musk's ownership of the company.
Let’s understand what Bluesky is, what its vision is, and what impact it can bring to Twitter’s popularity.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Bluesky?
- How Is Bluesky Different From Twitter?
- How To Join Bluesky?
- How To Use Bluesky?
- Why Has Bluesky Become Popular?
- Bluesky’s Weaknesses
- Comparison Of Major Twitter Alternatives
- Is Bluesky Taking On Twitter?
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.
What Is Bluesky?
Bluesky is a social media network that provides a range of features similar to those found on Twitter. Users have the ability to share succinct text and captivating photo updates, engage in lively discussions through replies, and easily amplify content shared by others.
Source: Google Play Store
Initially released for iOS devices in February, this innovative app is steadily expanding its reach and recently became accessible to Android users this month.
How Is Bluesky Different From Twitter?
Jay Graber, the CEO of Bluesky, recently mentioned in a blog post that the resemblance between Bluesky and Twitter was intentional. Having said that, there's a significant difference between the two.
Bluesky is a decentralized system, which means that users might be able to create their own apps and communities within the platform. This approach ensures that no one person can impose rules for the entire Bluesky community.
Bluesky also stands out because it uses an "open protocol." Typically, social media platforms are like closed gardens, where content stays within each platform. For example, your tweets stay on Twitter, and your photos are limited to Instagram. But Bluesky strives to be more open, potentially allowing posts to be shared across different social media platforms seamlessly.
Interestingly, a Bluesky user wondered if the app's name was inspired by Jack Dorsey's vision of transforming Twitter into an open protocol, which was symbolized by a bird flying freely in a blue sky. When asked about this speculation, Dorsey confirmed it with a simple "Yes." This incident emphasizes Bluesky's commitment to openness and connectivity.
If you want, you can use your domain as your handle on Bluesky Social. This could be helpful because there has been some controversy around Twitter's verification process, especially when it comes to removing blue check marks from verified accounts that don't pay a fee.
According to the Bluesky Social company blog, let's say a newsroom like NPR wants to verify its journalists. They could set their handles as "@name.npr.org" using subdomains. Brand accounts could also use their domain as their handle.
When it comes to moderation, Bluesky Social is using automated tools and working on a system of community labeling, which is similar to shared mute/block lists.
On most social media platforms, users see posts in their feeds based on an algorithm. However, Bluesky Social wants to give users the option to choose from different algorithms to determine what they see, although this feature is still being developed.
You can also choose from various hosting providers for your Bluesky Social account, but the system provided by Bluesky is the default option.
Furthermore, even if the service undergoes changes, creators who have gained a following on Bluesky Social may still be able to maintain connections with their followers.
How To Join Bluesky?
Bluesky is still being worked on and is not yet available to everyone to download and use. Currently, it is only accessible through invitation. According to a post by Ms. Graber on the platform, the app is focusing on creating moderation tools before making it available to the general public. You need an invitation code from someone who is already using the app to join it.
How To Use Bluesky?
Bluesky offers a simple experience for users. Your handle is represented as @username.bsky.social, and you can even use your own domain name as your username.
The app allows you to create posts of up to 256 characters and engage with other users through replies, retweets, and likes. You can search for and follow other individuals, view their updates in your "Home" timeline, and discover engaging posts in the "What's Hot" timeline.
User profiles feature profile pictures, backgrounds, bios, metrics, and the option to follow other users. The "Discover" tab offers suggestions for who to follow and a continuous feed of recently posted Bluesky updates.
Why Has Bluesky Become Popular?
Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, he has made changes to the platform. He made changes to how accounts are verified, reinstated the user profiles that were previously banned, added view counts on tweets, and revamped Twitter Blue.
However, these changes have caused confusion among users and have led to more misinformation and hate speech on the platform. Bluesky has been created to address the limitations of centralized control of Twitter, promote freedom of expression, foster innovation through interoperability, and prioritize user privacy and data control.
As a result, some Twitter users have been trying out other options. One popular alternative is Mastodon, a decentralized social media platform that aims to be a viable substitute for Twitter.
Initially, Bluesky was only available to a small group of tech insiders. But recently, several well-known Twitter accounts and public figures, like Ms. Ocasio Cortez, Ms. Teigen, and the popular social media personality Dril, have joined Bluesky, creating a lot of excitement around the platform.
Bluesky's users are enjoying the similarities it shares with Twitter. They have even come up with their own term for posts on the app, calling them "skeets" as a fun twist on tweets. Even though Ms. Graber asked them to change their name, it doesn't seem to have discouraged them.
Although the app is only in beta, the app has an absence of GIFs, hashtags, and interactive features. According to its users, the interface looks pretty rudimentary, the dark mode doesn’t work well, and notifications seem broken.
Some people even complain that they have not been able to join the waitlist due to the keyboard's disappearance.
In fact, we remind you that Bluesky can only be accessed by invitation from an already registered user. The development team has promised that the platform will support GIFs in the future, while hashtag uncertainty remains.
Comparison Of Major Twitter Alternatives
- Decentralized Platform
- Open Source
- Lack of Centralized Governance
- Enhanced Privacy Features
- Emphasis on Data Ownership
- User-Centric Design
- Smaller User Base
- Content Subscription Model
- Built-in Monetization
- Less Focus on Real-time Interactions
- Niche Audience
- Decentralized Protocol
- Twitter's Expertise
- Future Potential
- Community-driven Approach
Is Bluesky Taking On Twitter?
It's still early to make a definitive statement, but Bluesky has reported having over 40,000 users, according to information shared with Bloomberg News.
The company started accepting sign-ups from the wait list earlier and recently experienced a significant increase in users in just one day.
Although Bluesky's user base is currently small, it has managed to attract influential users. Many of these users turned to Bluesky due to their dissatisfaction with Musk's management of Twitter and the recent alterations made to the platform.
The stage is set for a clash of the social media titans, and the future holds the answer to the question: Is Bluesky taking on Twitter?
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Here are some commonly asked questions on Bluesky:
Who’s on Bluesky?
Bluesky has 50,000 users by the end of April 2023.
Are Bluesky posts really called ‘skeets’?
Technically, there is no name for posts on Bluesky. Internet users have created the name “skeets,” which is a portmanteau of “tweet” and “sky.”
What’s the difference between Bluesky and Mastodon?
Bluesky’s architecture is very similar to Mastodon’s. But users find Bluesky to be more intuitive, whereas Mastodon comes off as inaccessible to them.