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Bluesky takes flight… privately

Illustration by Kate Walker

Bluesky takes flight… privately


The Future. Bluesky, the decentralized social platform that has been a pet project of Jack Dorsey for years, released an invite-only app last month… meaning a public debut is on the horizon. Originally incubated at and financed by Twitter (although how much it’s still funded by the current cost-cutting regime is a mystery), the success of Bluesky’s Twitter-copycat interface may be dependent on the power of its unique, decentralized perks.

Twitter, decentralized
After years of hype and speculation, Bluesky is seeing some daylight.

  • The app already has over 2,000 installs.
  • Techcrunch called the app a “bare-bones, Twitter-like experience” so far, with nearly all the same features (except the ability to DM).
  • But for those with just a little more to say, posts go up to 256 characters, as opposed to Twitter’s 240.
  • And in a bit of cleverness, Bluesky’s prompt question for a post is “What’s up?”

The app’s waitlist is already open for signups.

Cloud foundation
Although Bluesky’s place in the social media sphere certainly piques interest, it’s not even the firm’s main priority.

Instead, the project, which is now a public benefit company, is more focused on building a decentralized protocol called “AT” (Authenticated Transfer) Protocol, which other decentralized apps can build on top of and allow users to control their experience and transfer their profiles from one platform to another.

But the big question is: with the ActivityPub protocol that powers newly popular platforms like Mastodon and is attracting established ones like Tumblr and Flipboard in a loosely connected “Fediverse,” could Bluesky’s ambitions already be out of reach?

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