It’s been hard not to notice the drama that has engulfed Twitter since the microblogging site was acquired by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2022. However, that same year, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey left the company and took an intriguing in-development social media project, Bluesky, with him.
It was back in 2019 that Dorsey started working on Bluesky, at that point an internal Twitter initiative. However, it took until February 2023 before Bluesky was finally released as an iOS app, now shorn of any connections to Twitter — for better or worse.
How does Bluesky work?
At the time of writing, Bluesky can only be downloaded as an iPhone app; no iPad, Android or Windows app for the platform is available. There is also the fact that it is not possible for anyone to join the Bluesky social network without having first received an invitation to do so.
However, if you do obtain this invite and use it to register an account with Bluesky, you will be able to participate in an online community that already numbers several thousand people. Also, the platform’s essential structure will feel a lot — if not quite entirely — like Twitter…
Bluesky is what is known as a ‘decentralised’ social network, which basically means that the site’s own developers would not be able to exert any heavy top-down control over how the network’s communities and members use it.
However, the users will still have access to an interface very similar to Twitter’s — including a timeline as well as specific sections dedicated to search and notifications. Meanwhile, a side menu will allow you to quickly dive into the user profile and app settings as and when you wish.
9to5Mac’s Felipe Espósito was recently able to take a closer look at Bluesky for himself, and reported: “The timeline is displayed in chronological order and you can reply, repost, quote, or like other users’ posts.”
Could Bluesky become a mainstream social media platform?
Though several Twitter competitors have attracted renewed attention since Musk’s acquisition of Twitter sparked an exodus from it, Bluesky does have several factors in its favour in the race to become ‘the new Twitter’ (or at least the strongest rival of it).
While the high-profile Twitter alternative Mastodon has attracted criticism for its relative complexity, the registration process with Bluesky is delightfully simple, and essentially requires just deciding on a username and password.
The official app automatically sends new users straight to the official Bluesky Social server, sparing them the potentially arduous decision of which server to join.
Also, while one sore point with Twitter has been its use of algorithms to show people content from accounts they don’t actually follow, this problem does not exist with Bluesky — due to a concerted effort on the part of its developers.
“Some Bluesky experiences will have ads, some won’t,” the developer has told Espósito about Bluesky’s monetisation plans. Your organisation could utilise our social media marketing expertise in preparation for Bluesky eventually lifting its current outright ban on advertisements on the platform.