Have you ever wondered if there could be a better, more open social media platform? Well, a new application called BlueSky Social aims to make that vision a reality. In this article, we’ll explore what BlueSky is, where it came from, and what makes it special.
A Quick Intro to BlueSky
In short, BlueSky is a decentralized social networking protocol and service started in 2019 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. It launched an invite-only beta app in early 2023 that currently has around 1 million users.
The app allows you to post text and photos, follow other users, like and reply to posts, and more. It uses a Twitter-like interface that will feel familiar. One key difference is it lacks personalized algorithmic feeds. BlueSky simply shows posts in chronological order.
But BlueSky’s real magic lies in its goal to be a fully decentralized network. Imagine a social media platform that isn’t owned by any single company. One where you can carry your identity and content between different communities that set their own rules. Exciting, right? Let’s learn more!
Where Did BlueSky Come From?
BlueSky began in 2019 as an internal initiative at Twitter led by Jack Dorsey . The idea was to develop an open standard that Twitter itself would eventually adopt. But in 2021, as Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO, BlueSky was spun out as an independent company called Bluesky Social LLC .
The project is led by CEO Jay Graber, an experienced engineer and startup founder. In 2022, the team open sourced early protocol code called the Authenticated Transfer (AT) Protocol . This allows data portability between networks.
The BlueSky app launched first on iOS in February 2023, then Android in April. It grew rapidly to around 850.000 users by September . But this app is just the beginning…
A Decentralized Future
The long-term plan is for BlueSky’s social app to be one of many decentralized networks interconnected via the AT Protocol. This means you could join different social apps but keep your profile, followers, and posts across all of them.
Each network could set their own rules around things like moderation and making money. All while users enjoy seamless data portability. Pretty cool, huh?
This decentralized future is still in early stages. But if BlueSky succeeds, it could provide an open model beyond today’s centralized social media giants.
A Customizable Experience
One unique feature of BlueSky is it allows users to create their own custom algorithms and feeds. There is no single algorithm imposed by the platform, and the pre-installed feeds can be removed or swapped out for different ones.
For example, you could make a feed focused on posts from friends in a certain city or on a particular topic. The chronological main feed shows everything, but custom feeds let you filter the content. This level of adaptability aligns with BlueSky’s mission to give users more control over their social media experience.
So if you’re intrigued by a more decentralized vision for social media, watch BlueSky as it develops. With an engaged team and community, this little blue bird has big dreams for a better online future.
Follow me on Bluesky at @marinamele.bsky.social
Marina Mele has experience in artificial intelligence implementation and has led tech teams for over a decade. On her personal blog (marinamele.com), she writes about personal growth, family values, AI, and other topics she’s passionate about. Marina also publishes a weekly AI newsletter featuring the latest advancements and innovations in the field (marinamele.substack.com)