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New App Alert: ‘Bluesky’ – The Newest Social Media Platform 2024


A New Twitter?

If you’ve been waiting to test out Bluesky, the decentralized version of Twitter that was originally funded by Twitter, you may finally, as the app exits invite-only beta today.


As you can see from these example screens, Bluesky is quite similar to Twitter, except with a butterfly silhouette instead of a bird as the logo. That’s by design, with the original Bluesky crew leaving Twitter and eventually going independent after Elon Musk bought the app.

Bluesky was previously only accessible by invitation, but starting today, anyone may sign up and create a profile in the real-time news alternative.

So, why would you want to?

It truly depends on your perspective on the decentralized web, and the importance of being able to govern your data and in-app experience with portability controls.


As described by Bluesky:

“Here, your experience online isn’t controlled by a single company. Whether it’s your timeline or content filters, on Bluesky, you can easily customize your social experience. This month, we’ll be rolling out an experimental early version of “federation,” or the feature that makes the network so open and customizable. On Bluesky, you’ll have the freedom to choose (and the right to leave) instead of being held to the whims of private companies or black box algorithms. And wherever you go, your friends and relationships can go with you.”

Threads, of course, is experimenting with the same concept, allowing users to publish to many decentralized apps via the ActivityPub protocol, which allows each system to speak with one another. Bluesky does not use ActivityPub (rather, it uses the AT Protocol), hence it is not yet fully interoperable. However, the aim is that these services will eventually give consumers more control, further democratizing the open web.

In principle, this might lead to users creating a single online presence that includes all of their personal data, activity insights, buddy lists, and more, which they can then transfer to another app or delete entirely whenever they want. Decentralized social apps offer alternate community alternatives that use alternative feed algorithms.

People can join to modify their web experience anyway they see suitable.

Will it work?

Several autonomous communities have already run into problems once they reach a certain size, demonstrating the importance of having a central arbiter with the capabilities to oversee large-scale interactions.

The problem is that the platforms must create rules governing what they will and will not allow, raising concerns about prejudice, favoritism, and so on. And, given that social platforms are now such key sources of news and information, this can have a tremendous influence. If these components are important to you, Bluesky and other decentralized platforms, such as Mastodon, offer alternatives.

However, It’s believe they will struggle to acquire traction because a) demand for such services is not as strong as proponents claim, and b) users are always drawn to crowds, no matter where they are. Because point a precludes point b, don’t see decentralized social apps becoming popular, though this could change over time depending on how things play out.

If there is another major data incident, such as Cambridge Analytica, more people may reevaluate their alternatives. However, even large-scale disputes have not affected overall user behavior, so it’s unclear what would be required to persuade a critical mass of users to switch.

And if this does not happen, their audiences will remain limited.

Maybe that’s fine, maybe it’s better that way, but if you’re interested, you can now download Bluesky and try it out.


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