Bluesky, the latest trending social media app, bears such a striking resemblance to Twitter that distinguishing between the two can be quite challenging. The profiles, timelines, and color schemes are practically indistinguishable. Interestingly, even the developer is the same – Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter.
Despite these similarities, Bluesky is markedly dissimilar under the hood. The app, which was launched in a closed beta on iOS in February, and on Android this month, operates on a decentralized network that offers users more authority over the service’s operation, data storage, and content moderation.
Bluesky: The New Social Network for Microblogging
Bluesky is a recently established social networking platform that focuses on microblogging. Similar to Twitter, the app enables users to post and follow brief updates on a timeline. However, it does have some differences, such as the absence of hashtags, which is a prominent feature on Twitter, and direct messages.
Bluesky was created independently of Twitter while Jack Dorsey was serving as CEO, and the company provided funding until it became an autonomous organization in February 2022. In a tweet in 2019, Dorsey introduced the concept, stating that it aims to “create an open community around it, inclusive of companies & organizations, researchers, civil society leaders,” but cautioned that “this isn’t going to happen overnight.”
Dorsey also expressed his regrets regarding Twitter’s status as a company in a tweet last year. He later clarified that if a service were a protocol, it “can’t be owned by a state or company.” The idea of a decentralized social network may sound familiar to some due to Mastodon, another Twitter alternative that gained attention in late 2022.
What is driving the popularity of Bluesky?
Bluesky has gained traction among Twitter users who are dissatisfied with the direction of the platform under its new owner, Elon Musk. In the past six months, Musk has introduced controversial changes to Twitter’s features and policies, such as removing blue check marks from prominent users. Some of these same influential users are now testing out Bluesky and have openly criticized Musk’s actions on Twitter.
According to data from the company formerly known as App Annie, now known as data.ai, Bluesky has been downloaded more than 375,000 times from the Apple App Store, and the waitlist for signups continues to grow. On the Google Play Store, Bluesky has been downloaded over 100,000 times. For comparison, Twitter reported over 200 million monetizable daily active users before Musk completed his acquisition.
At present, is it possible to create an account on Bluesky?
Bluesky is currently operating on an invite-only basis as it focuses on enhancing its network capabilities. Every two weeks, current users receive one invitation code that they can share with another individual. This feeling of exclusivity has unsurprisingly contributed to the buzz surrounding the prospect of joining Bluesky.