After almost a year where access to the app was made possible by invitation, it was done the sky is blue It is now available to everyone. Backed by former Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, now co-founder of X, Bluesky is one of the most interesting new messaging platforms and could be an alternative to Elon Musk's X.
Before it became available to everyone, the platform had about 3 million registrations. Now that anyone can use it, the new platform faces a challenge: How can it hold up against the 130 million monthly active users, or even the 1.8 million users who choose Mastodon?
At first glance, Bluesky works like Twitter, but what sets the platform apart is what's behind the storefront. The company started as a side project within Twitter, with the goal of creating a decentralized infrastructure called the AT Protocol for social networking. As a decentralized platform, Bluesky's source code is completely open, giving people outside the company transparency about what is being built and how it is being built. In fact, developers can write their own code on top of the AT protocol to create anything they want, from a custom algorithm to an entirely new social networking platform.
In this way, users have greater ability to control and filter their experience through the platform. For example, on a centrally controlled platform like Instagram, users can react to algorithm changes they don't like, but they can't do much to undo or improve an unwanted software update.
Interesting is the case of Mastodon, which is also an open source decentralized social media platform that has been around since 2016, years before Bluesky came along. Although the two platforms share common goals, they use different protocols, making it difficult for them to work together. While some communities have found Mastodon to be welcoming, others struggle with the platform's complex setup process and technical jargon. At this point, Bluesky's strategy diverges, as the stated goal is for users to have fun and have an enjoyable experience, not just be happy to participate in a decentralized platform that serves ideas that may seem abstract to them.
Bluesky's focus on providing an enjoyable user experience doesn't mean it compromises on the technical side. The company announced that it plans to launch a trial version later this month. Developers will be able to create their own separate servers, like Mastodon It has thousands of different versions (cases). As with Mastodon, Bluesky users will be able to choose which server they want to use, and if they change their mind, they can switch to a different server without losing their posts, followers, and lists of users they follow.
This all sounds great, but the question inevitably arises: What if a malicious actor creates a content moderation service or server that leads to tangible, harmful consequences? This is a huge challenge, and decentralized platforms must find an answer to it.
Bluesky relies more on the tools it offers users so they can take advantage of its customizability and decide for themselves what online security means to them. However, this may be too great a responsibility to pass on to the average user. In more extreme cases, for example, the posting of child sexual abuse content, the team behind the AT Protocol will step in to remove the illegal material entirely.
The new platform still has a long way to go, but it's already defied the odds: if things had taken a slightly different turn, it might not exist yet. Dorsey originally envisioned Twitter moving to AT Protocol, but he eventually resigned as CEO, and when Musk took over he completely changed the platform's priorities and values. Musk's acquisition and change in direction may not have been expected, but the folks at Bluesky serendipitously separated Bluesky from Twitter a year ago, creating a new corporate structure. And so the current company, Bluesky, which took its first steps inside Twitter, now competes with Company X, the company that has been Twitter until now. And if you're interested in seeing how it goes, you're in luck, as the platform has just opened its doors to everyone.
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