“Bluesky: The Decentralized Social Media App Challenging Twitter’s Dominance”

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Bluesky, the new social media app developed by Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, has been making waves in the online world. With its striking resemblance to Twitter in terms of profiles, timelines, and colors, Bluesky sets itself apart with its decentralized network, offering users greater control over the platform’s operations, data storage, and content moderation.

Launched as a closed beta on iOS in February and recently made available on Android, Bluesky has garnered attention from journalists, politicians, and celebrities, including Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, model Chrissy Teigan, and the band Eve 6.

So, what exactly is Bluesky? It positions itself as “a new social network for microblogging,” allowing users to post and follow short updates on a timeline similar to Twitter. However, there are notable differences, such as the absence of hashtags and direct messages.

Bluesky was developed independently of Twitter but received funding from the company until it became an independent organization in February 2022. Dorsey expressed his intention to build an open community around Bluesky, inclusive of companies, organizations, researchers, and civil society leaders. However, he cautioned that this process would take time.

The concept of a decentralized social network may sound familiar, thanks to the emergence of Mastodon, another Twitter alternative that gained attention in late 2022.

Bluesky has attracted users who are disillusioned with Twitter’s direction under owner Elon Musk. Since Musk assumed control, he has implemented controversial changes to features and policies, including the removal of blue checkmarks from prominent users. High-profile individuals who are now testing Bluesky have openly criticized Musk’s actions on Twitter.

According to data from data.ai (formerly App Annie), Bluesky has been downloaded over 375,000 times from the Apple App Store, with a flood of signup requests on the waitlist. On the Google Play Store, Bluesky has been downloaded over 100,000 times. In comparison, Twitter reported over 200 million monetizable daily active users before Musk’s acquisition.

While it remains uncertain whether Bluesky will sustain its popularity or face a decline like Mastodon, experts see the initial shift towards Bluesky as a positive development. Mark Bartholomew, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law specializing in online privacy, believes that competition in the social media space can offer users more choices that align with their preferences, such as enhanced privacy protection, portability, and significant content moderation. Users no longer have to accept features they dislike merely to be present on a platform where everyone else is, thanks to Musk’s actions that seemingly sabotaged his own platform.

As of now, Bluesky is invite-only as it continues to support the implementation of its network. Existing users receive invite codes to share with others every two weeks. The sense of exclusivity surrounding Bluesky has further fueled excitement among potential users, with invite codes being compared to the coveted blue checkmarks on Twitter.

In conclusion, Bluesky’s emergence as a decentralized social media app challenges Twitter’s dominance, providing users with an alternative that prioritizes user control and autonomy over their online experiences.