Jack Dorsey-backed Bluesky now open to all

7 Feb 2024

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After months of being an invite-only platform, the X challenger app with more than 3m users is now open to everyone.

Bluesky, the decentralised social platform funded by Jack Dorsey, has moved away from an invite-only model and is now open to the public.

Long seen as one of the stronger alternatives to X, formerly Twitter, Bluesky was announced in 2019 as a Twitter-funded project that aimed to create an “open and decentralised standard for social media”.

Decentralisation is a boon for sites like Mastodon, which runs many smaller servers as a counter to the massive, centralised social media sites like X, Facebook and Instagram.

The company shared in an announcement yesterday (6 February) that users on the platform can choose what they want to see instead of being held to the “whims of a black box algorithm”.

“Bluesky is building an open social network where anyone can contribute, while still providing an easy-to-use experience for users,” the company wrote.

“For the past year, we used invite codes to help us manage growth while we built features like moderation tooling, custom feeds and more. Now, we’re ready for anyone to join.”

Before it went public, Bluesky already had more than 3m sign-ups. But it remains to be seen how the platform will compete with other alternatives to X, such as Meta’s Threads and Mastodon. Threads has more than 130m monthly active users, while Mastodon has 1.8m.

The Bluesky app shares similarities with Twitter – before it became X – in terms of design and function. Users have a profile that shows their number of followers, the accounts they are following and the various posts they have created.

Users can look at a home page that shows posts from accounts they are following or discover popular posts in various categories. Users can also search for certain hashtags to find posts about specific topics.

“When you log in to Bluesky, it might look and feel familiar – the user experience should be straightforward,” the company said.

“But under the hood, we’ve designed the app in a way that puts control back in your hands. Here, your experience online isn’t controlled by a single company. Whether it’s your timeline or content filters, on Bluesky you can easily customise your social experience.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic