Is the grass greener on the opposite facet? We’re undecided, however the sky is most definitely bluer. It’s been greater than a 12 months since Elon Musk bought Twitter, now X, main individuals to arrange store on various platforms. Mastodon, Put up, Pebble (which has already shuttered operations) and Spill have been offered as potential replacements, however few except for Meta’s Threads have achieved the velocity of development Bluesky has reached.

After being invite-only for nearly a 12 months, Bluesky is now open to anybody who needs to hitch. Inside a day, Bluesky gained virtually 800,000 new customers and is slated to interrupt 4 million whole signups. Although that quantity is promising, the community has a number of catching as much as do to compete with Threads’ 130 million month-to-month energetic customers and even Mastodon’s 1.8 million. And whereas X customers flock to Bluesky anytime Musk makes lower than favorable modifications, the platform remains to be in a position to hit the highest of the U.S. App Retailer.

Right here we reply the most typical questions on Bluesky social:

What’s Bluesky?

Bluesky is a decentralized social app conceptualized by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and developed in parallel with Twitter. The social community has a Twitter-like consumer interface with algorithmic selection, a federated design and community-specific moderation.

Bluesky is utilizing an open supply framework constructed in-house, the AT Protocol, that means individuals exterior of the corporate have transparency into how it’s constructed and what’s being developed.

Dorsey launched the Bluesky mission again in 2019 whereas he was nonetheless Twitter CEO. On the time, he stated Twitter could be funding a “small unbiased crew of as much as 5 open supply architects, engineers, and designers,” charged with constructing a decentralized customary for social media, with the unique aim that Twitter would undertake this customary itself. However that was earlier than Elon Musk purchased the platform, in order of late 2022, Bluesky is totally divorced from Twitter. Dorsey has even used Bluesky to specific his dismay with Musk’s management.

How do you employ Bluesky?

Upon signing up, customers can create a deal with which is then represented as in addition to a show identify that seems extra distinguished in daring textual content. In the event you’re so inclined, you may flip a website identify that you simply personal into your username — so, for instance, I’m recognized on Bluesky as

The app itself capabilities very like a bare-bones Twitter, the place you may click on a plus button to create a publish of 256 characters, which might additionally embrace pictures. Posts themselves might be replied to, retweeted, appreciated and, from a three-dot menu, reported, shared by way of the iOS Share Sheet to different apps or copied as textual content.

You may seek for and comply with different people, then view their updates in your “Dwelling” timeline. Beforehand, the Bluesky app would function in style posts in a “What’s Scorching” feed. That feed has since been changed with an algorithmic and customized “Uncover” feed that includes extra than simply trending content material. 

There’s additionally a “Uncover” tab within the backside middle of the app’s navigation, which affords extra “who to comply with” options and a working feed of lately posted Bluesky updates.

Picture Credit: Natalie Christman

Who’s on Bluesky?

By the start of July 2023, when Instagram’s Threads launched, Bluesky topped one million downloads throughout iOS and Android. Notable figures like Neil Gaiman, Dril and Chelsea Manning have migrated to Bluesky. It’s additionally dwelling to information organizations and journalists like Bloomberg, The Washington Post and Engadget. With Bluesky now open to the general public, it’s attainable that different figures may quickly make the transfer over.

Does Bluesky work similar to Twitter?

In some ways, sure. Nonetheless, Bluesky doesn’t but have DMs or some superior instruments like including accounts to lists. Moreover, Twitter doesn’t use a decentralized protocol like ActivityPub or AT.

Bluesky was initially kicked off as a mission convened by Jack Dorsey in 2019 when he was CEO of Twitter. However the social app has been an unbiased firm since its inception in 2021.

Is Bluesky free?

Sure, and it’s now open to the general public.

How does Bluesky earn cash?

Bluesky’s aim is to search out one other means to maintain its community exterior of promoting with paid companies, so it will possibly stay free to finish customers. On July 5, Bluesky introduced extra seed spherical funding and a paid service that gives customized domains for finish customers who wish to have a singular area as their deal with on the service.

Is Bluesky decentralized?

Sure. Bluesky’s crew is creating the decentralized AT Protocol, which Bluesky was constructed atop. In its beta section, customers can solely be part of the community, however Bluesky plans to be federated, that means that countless individually operated communities can exist inside the open supply community. So, if a developer exterior of Bluesky constructed their very own new social app utilizing the AT Protocol, Bluesky customers may bounce over to the brand new app and port over their present followers, deal with and knowledge.

“You’ll all the time have the liberty to decide on (and to exit) as an alternative of being held to the whims of personal firms or black field algorithms. And wherever you go, your folks and relationships shall be there too,” a Bluesky blog post explained.

Is Bluesky safe?

In October 2023, Bluesky added electronic mail verification as half of a bigger effort to enhance account safety and authentication on the community. The addition is a crucial step ahead by way of making Bluesky extra aggressive with bigger networks like X, which have extra sturdy safety controls. In December 2023, Bluesky allowed customers to decide out of a change that may expose their posts to the general public internet following backlash from customers. 

Is Bluesky customizable?

Sure. In Could 2023, Bluesky launched customized algorithms, which it calls “customized feeds.” Customized feeds permit customers to subscribe to a number of completely different algorithms that showcase completely different sorts of posts a consumer could wish to see. You may pin customized feeds that can present up on the high of your timeline as completely different tabs to select from. The feeds you pin, or save, are positioned underneath the “My Feeds” menu within the app’s sidebar.

In March 2024,​​ the corporate introduced “AT Protocol Grants,” a brand new program that can dole out small grants to builders in an effort to foster development and customization. One of many recipients, SkyFeed, is a customized software that lets anybody construct their very own feeds utilizing a graphical consumer interface. 

Is Bluesky on iOS and Android?

Sure. Bluesky rolled out to Android customers on April 20 and was initially launched to iOS customers in late February. Customers can entry Bluesky on the internet here.

Are Bluesky posts actually referred to as ‘skeets?’

There’s technically no identify for posts, however web customers have adopted the identify “skeets,” a portmanteau of “tweet” and “sky.” Customers nonetheless extensively confer with posts as “skeets,” regardless of protests from Bluesky CEO Jay Graber and others who don’t discover the slang for semen amusing.

How does Bluesky sort out misinformation?

After an October 2023 replace, the app will now warn customers of deceptive hyperlinks by flagging them. If hyperlinks shared in customers’ posts don’t match their textual content, the app will provide a “probably deceptive” warning to the consumer to alert them that the hyperlink could also be directing them someplace they don’t wish to go.

Picture Credit: Bluesky on GitHub

Has Bluesky had any controversies?

Bluesky has been embattled with moderation points since its first launch. The app has been accused of failing to guard its marginalized customers and failing to reasonable racist content material. Following an argument concerning the app permitting racial slurs in account handles, annoyed customers initiated a “posting strike,” the place they refused to have interaction with the platform till it established guardrails to flag slurs and different offensive phrases in usernames.

What moderation options does Bluesky have?

A December 2023 publish from the Bluesky Security account introduced a big batch of moderation updates

Bluesky is rolling out “extra superior automated tooling” designed to flag content material that violates its Neighborhood Pointers that can then be reviewed by the app’s moderation crew. 

Bluesky launched moderation options just like ones on X, together with consumer lists and moderation lists, the latter of which can be utilized to mute or block many customers directly. The app can be creating a function that lets customers restrict who can reply to posts.

Some Bluesky customers are nonetheless advocating for the flexibility to set their accounts to non-public — a function they’ve an elevated want for after Bluesky introduced it might launch a public internet interface

In March 2024, the corporate launched Ozone, a software that lets customers create and run their very own unbiased moderation companies that can give customers “unprecedented control” over their social media expertise.

What’s the distinction between Bluesky and Mastodon?

Although Bluesky’s structure is just like Mastodon’s, many customers have discovered Bluesky to be extra intuitive, whereas Mastodon can come off as inaccessible: Selecting which occasion to hitch looks like an not possible activity on Mastodon, and longtime customers are very defensive about their established posting norms, which might make becoming a member of the dialog intimidating. To stay aggressive, Mastodon lately simplified its sign-up stream, making the default server for brand new customers.

Nonetheless, the launch of federation will make it work extra equally to Mastodon in that customers can choose and select which servers to hitch and transfer their accounts round at will. 

Who owns Bluesky?

Although Jack Dorsey funded Bluesky and sits on the corporate’s board, he isn’t concerned in day-to-day growth. The CEO of Bluesky is Jay Graber, who beforehand labored as a software program engineer for the cryptocurrency Zcash, then based an event-planning website referred to as Happening.

When you have extra FAQs about Bluesky not coated right here, depart us a remark under.