With Twitter mired in confusion over check marks, subscriptions and an ever—increasing number of seemingly haphazard decisions by the platform’s owner Elon Musk, some users are searching for alternatives.
Many are looking no further than Bluesky, which has its own origins in Twitter and, to all intents and purposes, acts in a very similar fashion. Its latest devotees include US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, writer-comedian Dril and model Chrissy Teigen. But for now it’s invite only. The platform on Thursday said it had just experienced its biggest single-day jump in users yet.
Here’s everything you need to know about Bluesky — and how to get an all-important invite:
What is Bluesky?
On the outside, Bluesky is a platform with similar looks and features to Twitter — albeit simpler — allowing users to create a profile and post text and images. The real difference is under the hood. Instead of building a social platform like Twitter or Facebook, the Bluesky project is about creating the behind-the-scenes interface to allow any social platform to plug in — so users can keep their identity and connections across services.
The idea of a decentralized network is to make it possible for users to shop around for the platform with the best interface or the content moderation choices they prefer, reducing their reliance on any single service provider and giving them more control over how their data is used.
Who owns it?
The Bluesky project was kicked off by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in 2019, initially funded by the platform as a side-project to develop a decentralized social media standard. Dorsey said upon its launch that his goal was for Twitter to “ultimately be a client of this standard.” In 2022, under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Jay Graber, Bluesky announced the launch of the Bluesky PBLLC as an independent organization.
Is Elon Musk involved in Bluesky?
In a word, no. The project went independent way before Musk bought Twitter. And while Dorsey played a role in Musk’s Twitter takeover, the relationship between the two seems to have deteriorated.
Who’s using Bluesky right now?
Well, not that many people — yet. Graber told Bloomberg on Friday that over 40,000 people have been granted access to the service, which is currently invite only. But the number of people interested is way higher. The Bluesky iPhone app has been downloaded some 360,000 times, according to analytics company Data.ai. In addition, Bluesky recently launched an Android app, which has ranked highly in Google Play download charts in the US, UK and Japan.
Are there any famous faces or big name users?
Among the users flocking to Bluesky are politicians, celebrities and entrepreneurs. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has already become an active member, notching up over 2,400 followers, while model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen shared a post on Twitter on Friday with a link to her new Bluesky account. Also making platform debuts on Thursday were congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and social media star Dril — who boasts 1.8 million Twitter followers.
Even though the community is still relatively small and controlled, impersonation is already an issue. Several accounts have been flagged as fake, including a user imitating Myspace co-founder Tom Anderson whose profile now appears with a warning label. Bluesky currently allows users to report accounts for impersonation.
How do I get a Bluesky invite code?
The only way to get on Bluesky right now is with an invite code. And to get an invite code you need to be on the waitlist. You can sign up to get your name on the list on the Bluesky app or website. Signing up, however, won’t give you an ETA on when the doors will open to you — it’s a waiting game right now, and something of a lottery. If you are particularly lucky, however, you could score an invite from a developer or a select few active Bluesky users who are willing and able to share codes.
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