Social Media

What is Bluesky, and how to get an invite

Bluesky is a new option for people tired of Twitter. It kicked off in 2019 when Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO at the time, wanted to make social media more open and decentralized. This means users have more say, using open-source code to create their own apps and discussions. It’s gaining attention from those seeking alternatives like Mastodon and Truth Social.

Twitter has always found itself amidst controversies since its inception, and the drama has seemingly intensified in the Elon Musk era. Whether you’re a staunch supporter or a critic of Twitter’s current condition, it’s undeniable that a considerable number of users are actively seeking alternatives. Enter Bluesky, a nascent social media platform that has swiftly risen to prominence as one of the leading contenders.

The allure of Bluesky, however, comes with a caveat – access to its beta version is currently restricted, and the coveted invites are a rarity. This exclusivity has turned these invitations into sought-after commodities, eagerly pursued by those yearning for entry into the unfolding world of Bluesky.

Bluesky is a new Twitter-like platform. Wondering what it is, who made it, and how to join? Here’s a quick guide to what Bluesky is all about and how to snag an invite.

What is Bluesky?

Bluesky is a groundbreaking decentralized social application envisioned by Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter. Developed concurrently with Twitter, this platform offers a user interface reminiscent of Twitter, featuring algorithmic choices, a federated design, and moderation tailored to specific communities.

What sets Bluesky apart is its utilization of an in-house developed open-source framework known as the AT Protocol. This framework ensures transparency by allowing external individuals to understand the intricacies of its construction and ongoing development.

Jack Dorsey first introduced the Bluesky project in 2019 during his tenure as the CEO of Twitter. During this announcement, he outlined plans for Twitter to fund a small, independent team consisting of up to five open-source architects, engineers, and designers.

Their mission was to construct a decentralized standard for social media, initially with the intention that Twitter would eventually adopt this standard. However, the landscape shifted when Elon Musk acquired Twitter, leading to Bluesky’s complete separation from the platform by late 2022.

Notably, Jack Dorsey has used Bluesky as a platform to convey his dissatisfaction with Elon Musk’s leadership, showcasing how the project has evolved beyond its original scope and become a vehicle for expressing personal viewpoints within the tech industry.

Is Bluesky legit?

Bluesky, co-founded by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, carries significant legitimacy in the social media sphere. Interestingly, Bluesky represents Dorsey’s second attempt at refining the Twitter formula, driven by his regrets about the centralized nature of Twitter and its transformation into a corporate entity.

Dorsey envisions Bluesky as a return to the essence of social media, aiming to mitigate the pitfalls of centralization. Unlike traditional platforms, Bluesky emphasizes user-run servers alongside its own, decentralizing power from the company and empowering separate moderation teams.

This strategic move, considering the challenges Twitter faced with content moderation, reflects Dorsey’s desire to give more control to the community. However, historical skepticism surrounds this approach.

In essence, Bluesky is a legitimate social network, backed by its founder’s vision of putting power back into the hands of users. Yet, trust in Bluesky, like any social network, remains a personal decision, varying for each individual.

Does Twitter own Bluesky?

No, but there’s more to the story. Bluesky originated from Twitter in 2019 through a process called a ‘spin-out,’ where it became a new company in its own right. Although it started as part of Twitter, Bluesky is now completely independent from its parent company.

Despite sharing similarities with Twitter, such as involvement from Twitter founder Dorsey and former CEO Parag Agrawal, Bluesky is entirely separate from Elon Musk’s Twitter and is not owned by Twitter.

Can I use Bluesky on Android and iPhone?

Yes, there’s a Bluesky app available for both Android and iPhone. You can find it on the Google Play Store and Bluesky Social on the Apple App Store.

Remember, you’ll need an invite code to sign up, and they’re a bit scarce at the moment. You can download the app in advance, but keep in mind that Bluesky is still in development. Insider reports suggest it’s a basic Twitter clone with some features, like blocking and direct messaging, still in the works. So, while Bluesky is generating buzz, it’s not quite ready for a full release just yet.

How can I obtain a Bluesky invite?

If you’re looking for a Bluesky invite, the easiest way is to join the waitlist. Head to the Bluesky beta website, enter your email, and wait for an invite to arrive in your inbox.

While some people already on Bluesky might have extra invite codes, relying on the waitlist is the safest option. Friends on the platform may also share codes, but be cautious as there’s a market for invite codes, and some people may charge money for them.

We strongly advise against spending money on codes, as it carries a risk of not receiving a valid code or even being scammed. Bluesky will eventually be open to everyone, so it’s probably best to wait for that.

FAQ

How do I get invited to Bluesky?

New users receive one invite code every two weeks while using the Bluesky app. The company monitors the social graph, giving more invite codes to users who invite trustworthy participants. Bluesky views the invite code system as part of the open-source tool it’s building for server admins to curate and moderate their communities.

Does Bluesky work just like Twitter?

In many ways, yes. DMs and other more sophisticated features, including adding accounts to lists, are not yet available in Bluesky. Bluesky was initially a project by Jack Dorsey in 2019 but has been an independent company since 2021.

How does Bluesky make money?

Bluesky aims to sustain its network outside of advertising with paid services. It announced additional seed round funding and a paid service providing custom domains for users who want a unique domain as their handle.

Who’s on Bluesky?

By July 2023, Bluesky had over a million downloads and officially reached a million users in September 2023. Notable figures like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Neil Gaiman, and Chelsea Manning have migrated to Bluesky, along with organizations and journalists like X exile NPR, Taylor Lorenz, and Jake Tapper.

Is Bluesky free?

Yes, but it is currently invite-only access.

Is Bluesky decentralized?

Yes. Bluesky is developing the decentralized AT Protocol. In its beta phase, users can only join the bsky.social network, but Bluesky plans to be federated, allowing individually operated communities within the open-source network. Bluesky announced its intention to launch its federation “early next year.”

Is Bluesky customizable?

Yes. Bluesky released custom algorithms, or “custom feeds,” in May, allowing users to subscribe to different algorithms that showcase various posts. Users can pin custom feeds at the top of their timeline as different tabs.

Is Bluesky secure?

In October 2023, Bluesky added email verification to improve account security. This is part of an effort to compete with larger networks like X, which have more robust security controls.

Are Bluesky posts really called ‘skeets’?

There is technically no official name for posts, but users have adopted the term “skeets,” a combination of “tweet” and “sky.” Users commonly refer to posts as “skeets.”

Is Bluesky on iOS and Android?

Yes. Bluesky is available on both iOS and Android, and users can also access it on the web. A third-party app called GraySky has been launched on iOS and Android.

How does Bluesky tackle misinformation?

After an October update, Bluesky will flag misleading links, warning users of possible misinformation. If links shared in posts don’t match the text, the app will offer a “possibly misleading” warning.

What was the ‘hellthread’?

The ‘hellthread’ occurred when too many people responded to one thread, causing notifications to break, making the post impossible to mute, and resulting in the thread splitting into sub-threads.

Who owns Bluesky?

Jack Dorsey funded Bluesky and sits on the board, but he is not involved in day-to-day development. The CEO of Bluesky is Jay Graber.

Has Bluesky had any controversies?

Bluesky has faced moderation issues since its launch, accused of failing to protect marginalized users and moderate racist content. A controversy arose about allowing racial slurs in account handles, leading to a “posting strike” by users.

What’s the difference between Bluesky and Mastodon?

While Bluesky’s architecture is similar to Mastodon’s, users find Bluesky more intuitive, whereas Mastodon can be seen as inaccessible. Mastodon recently simplified its sign-up flow to remain competitive.

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