The social media platform, Bluesky, which was advocated by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, has come out of its initial stages and is now open to the public for account creation and joining the network.
Before Tuesday, those interested in becoming a member of Bluesky had to receive an invitation. This usually involved finding a current member and requesting an invite. According to Bluesky, this exclusive period allowed the site to develop moderation tools and additional features.
Bluesky is similar to X, formerly known as Twitter, after being acquired by Elon Musk for $44 billion. However, unlike Twitter, it currently does not have a direct messaging feature. It does have more customization choices, but it remains to be seen if these will be popular with users.
Bluesky’s default setting shows posts from accounts you follow in a straight timeline. However, users can also opt for algorithm-based timelines created by other users. The platform currently has its own moderation system, but it is planning to allow users to combine different moderation methods. This feature is not yet available.
Bluesky’s ultimate goal is to give users the freedom to transfer their friend lists, followers, and other information to different social media platforms as things ramp up. In a playful comic page shared in their announcement on Tuesday, the company envisions being the only social account you’ll ever have to make.
It may not be as simple in reality. The process of connecting social networks in this manner is referred to as “federation,” and there are various approaches to achieving this. For example, Mastodon and other microblogging platforms, such as Meta’s Threads service, utilize a federation protocol called ActivityPub, which should enable users to switch between them.
In fact, Threads has already begun experimenting with sharing posts to Mastodon and other services using ActivityPub. “Making Threads interoperable will give people more choice over how they interact and it will help content reach more people,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Threads post in December. “I’m pretty optimistic about this.”
In comparison, Bluesky utilizes a federation method known as the Authenticated Transfer Protocol, which is currently the only service to do so. The protocol’s “frequently asked questions” page argues that ActivityPub is inefficient for transferring accounts and lacks essential features.