The social media landscape has been dominated by a few big players, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, a new contender is emerging, and it looks a lot like Twitter – Bluesky. Developed by Twitter’s co-founder and former CEO, Jack Dorsey, Bluesky may look similar to Twitter, but it is vastly different under the hood.
Bluesky is a social media platform that operates on a decentralized network, enabling users to have greater control over the management of the service, data storage, and moderation of content. It is built on a protocol, which can’t be owned by a state or company, unlike traditional social media platforms.
Moreover, Bluesky was established autonomously from Twitter during Dorsey’s tenure as CEO, although it received financial support from the company until it became an autonomous entity in February 2022. The app is currently in a closed beta on iOS and Android.
Bluesky’s primary attribute is microblogging, allowing users to publish and track short posts on a timeline, much like Twitter. Nevertheless, the app presently lacks hashtags or direct messaging. Bluesky is still under development, and these features might be incorporated at a later stage.
In 2019, Dorsey tweeted that Bluesky plans to “build an open community around it, inclusive of companies & organizations, researchers, civil society leaders,” but warned “this isn’t going to happen overnight.” This means that Bluesky aims to be more than just a social media app but a platform that encourages collaboration and innovation.
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Bluesky’s decentralized approach aims to address some of the issues that traditional social media platforms face, such as content moderation and data privacy. With the decentralized network, users have more control over their data and can participate in the moderation process.
But Bluesky is not the first decentralized social media app. Mastodon, another Twitter alternative, gained attention in late 2021. However, Bluesky’s association with Twitter and Dorsey’s involvement has brought it to the forefront of the conversation.
Bluesky has recently garnered attention from various groups, including journalists, politicians, and celebrities, such as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, model Chrissy Teigan, and the 90s band Eve 6. It remains to be seen whether Bluesky can challenge Twitter’s dominance in the social media landscape, but its decentralized approach offers a unique perspective on how social media can be reimagined.
While Bluesky bears a striking resemblance to Twitter in terms of profiles, timelines, and colors, it differs significantly under the hood.
Bluesky, which operates on a decentralized network, has given users more authority over the management of the service, storage of data, and regulation of content. The application has been installed over 375,000 times from the Apple App Store, and there is an overwhelming demand to sign up.
While it is unclear if Bluesky has staying power or will lose steam like Mastodon, which also gained attention as a Twitter alternative, early interest in the platform is a positive sign for social media users who want more choice over where they spend their time.
Many prominent users who are dissatisfied with Twitter’s recent changes, including the removal of blue check marks from prominent users, have started to use Bluesky. Professor Mark Bartholomew, who writes about online privacy and teaches at the University at Buffalo School of Law, believes that the shift towards Bluesky is positive as it provides users with more choice, allowing them to find the product features they want, such as increased privacy protection, portability, and better content moderation. He believes that the competition among social media platforms could lead to improved products for users.
For now, Bluesky is invite-only as it ramps up support for the implementation of its network. Existing users get one invite code to share with someone for every two weeks they’re on the app.
This sense of exclusivity has only added to the excitement of joining Bluesky, with some users likening invite codes to the new blue check. Overall, Bluesky represents an intriguing alternative to Twitter that could offer users greater control over their social media experience.
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Dorsey is a well-known figure in the tech industry, having co-founded two of the most influential companies of our time, Twitter and Square. Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1976, Dorsey’s passion for technology began at an early age. He started programming when he was just 14 and went on to study computer science and economics at the University of Missouri-Rolla.
Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006 along with Biz Stone and Evan Williams. The platform quickly became a social media sensation, with its 140-character limit and the ability to share updates in real-time.
Dorsey served as CEO until 2008 but was eventually pushed out due to concerns about his ability to scale the company. He returned to the role in 2011 but was again replaced as CEO in 2015, this time by current CEO Jack Noto.
Despite his tumultuous tenure at Twitter, Dorsey continued to innovate in the tech industry. In 2009, he founded Square, a mobile payment company that allows merchants to accept credit card payments through a small device that plugs into their phone or tablet. Square quickly gained popularity and went public in 2015.
Dorsey’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for technology have made him a respected figure in the industry. He has also been a vocal advocate for causes such as environmentalism, cryptocurrency, and the benefits of fasting. In recent years, he has become more focused on using technology to create a more open and decentralized internet.
This vision led him to launch Bluesky, a new social media app that runs on a decentralized network. Bluesky aims to give users more control over their social media experience, including how the service is run, data is stored, and content is moderated. While the app is still in beta testing, it has already gained the attention of high-profile users, including politicians and celebrities.