Bluesky Social, a decentralized alternative to Twitter, has ended its invite-only phase, opening registrations to the wider public. The move marks a significant shift from its initial beta phase, which started with an iOS app in February 2022. With a growing user base now surpassing three million, Bluesky aims to compete with mainstream social media platforms by offering unique features such as custom feed algorithms and enhanced account portability.
Bluesky's service stands out by allowing users to take control of what they see in their feeds. Unlike traditional social media platforms that use a singular, opaque algorithm, Bluesky provides a “marketplace of algorithms” enabling users to tailor their information consumption around their preferences. Such a setup not only empowers users but also opens opportunities for third-party developers to innovate within the platform.
In tandem with customizable feeds, Bluesky is set to introduce a labeling service. This service will allow users or organizations to create labels that can be applied to content, giving rise to a new form of user-involved moderation. Whether moderating for truthfulness or context, this functionality decentralizes the traditional moderation process seen on centrally controlled networks.
Bluesky operates on the AT Protocol, setting it apart from the ActivityPub protocol used by platforms like Mastodon. The AT Protocol enhances user experience by simplifying account portability and avoiding issues such as sudden bans or server shutdowns. It leverages both decentralized identifiers (DIDs) and signed data repositories, ensuring users maintain ownership and control over their online identities and data.
Bluesky's independence from Twitter was finalized in late 2022, enabling it to operate as a separate entity. Despite growing competition from platforms like Elon Musk's X and Meta's Threads, Bluesky's distinct approach to social networking—focusing on interconnectivity and user agency—is poised to attract a diverse user base.
As Bluesky propels itself into the competitive landscape of social media, its evolution will be closely watched as an example of how decentralized technology and user-centric design principles can carve out a niche in a market dominated by tech giants. With open registration now a reality, Bluesky invites individuals who are seeking a new kind of social media experience to explore its platform.