Ever since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, the social media platform has changed significantly. Legacy-verified blue ticks have vanished, paid subscribers enjoy boosted interactions, and the overall feel of what Twitter once was has been altered. As a result, alternate social media platforms like Mastodon, and even well-established platforms like Reddit and LinkedIn, are generating a lot of interest.
One of the emerging platforms, Bluesky Social, is gaining a lot of popularity. Everyone on Twitter is talking about this platform and one of the primary reasons of its popularity is also due to its connection with Twitter — this new social media platform is backed by Twitter’s co-founder, Jack Dorsey. In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about Bluesky Social, its unique features, and how you can sign up to be a part of this growing platform.
What is Bluesky social?
At first glance, Bluesky looks and feels very similar to Twitter. In fact, in its current form, you can say it’s the closest rip-off of Twitter. It is a text-based social media platform where users can share their posts (called ‘skeets’) with a maximum of 300 characters. The platform also support photo uploads, but not video uploads at the time of writing.
There is a timeline (called ‘skyline’) that shows posts based on your interest, and you can even switch to chronological feed. You can block people that you don’t want to see skeets from, but there are no DMs currently. As evident it is from this description, this social media platform is currently in the stage of building.
It is not a full and final product, yet. The company released apps for iOS and Android only recently, and you cannot even join without an invite code right now. So, yeah, it is quite similar to Twitter right now. But, the fundamental technologies that Bluesky will be built on would be quite different from Twitter.
How different is Bluesky from Twitter?
Twitter, like most social media platforms out there, is currently a privately-owned platform. Even though it is one of the rare companies that has open-sourced its source code, only Twitter developers and executives can make product and policy decisions. Bluesky, on the other hand, in its final form, will be a decentralized social media.
This means users will be able to control their experience on the platform. They will be able to manage how their data is stored and what content is shown to them. Users will be able to create or join servers that cater to specific interests or communities, each with own moderation rules.
To make this happen, Bluesky will utilize an open-source protocol called Authenticated Transfer (AT) Protocol. Currently, on any social media, you are shown a feed of posts that the company’s algorithm chooses for you. The AT protocol will allow users to choose the algorithm that they want to use and tailor their experience as per their preference.
AT would also allow the users to communicate with anyone on any app or service using the AT protocol. This means that if a Bluesky competitor utilizing AT protocol emerges, cross-app communication will be possible. AT will also enable account portability, allowing users to transfer their accounts between providers without losing data or connections.
As for current differences between Bluesky and Twitter, the most notable is in the account username (or domain). You can also set domain as your handle on Bluesky. This is not only different, but it could also help with verification.
The company’s blog explains: “For example, a newsroom like NPR could set their handle to be @npr.org. Then, any journalists that NPR wants to verify could use subdomains to set their handles to be @name.npr.org. Brand accounts could set their handle to be their domain as well.”
How to sign up on Bluesky?
Currently, Bluesky Social is in beta and accessible through an invite code only. As per various reports, there are only about 55,000 users on the platform right now. To sign up, you will need to head over to the Bluesky’s official website and add your email address to the waiting list.
Alternatively, if you know someone on Bluesky, you can ask them to share an invite code with you. The company’s founder says that it will remain invite-only until it is capable enough of handling a large scale of users.
It remains to be seen whether Bluesky will accomplish what it has set out to do, but its unique features, connection with Twitter, and similarity in appearance and functionality to the micro-blogging service may play a big role in paving the way for its success.