Bluesky may soon be smiling its way into the social media platform rat race as the app for the Jack Dorsey-backed Twitter alternative was quietly dropped into Apple’s App Store Tuesday.
The Bluesky app reportedly offers similar features to Twitter, including a home timeline of posts from people you follow, a discovery tab, and a feed of recently posted Bluesky updates. Posts can be replied to, reposted, liked — and reported. Despite similarities to Twitter, however, BlueSky doesn’t sport even the bigger names found on alternative social sites like Mastodon.
With so many Twitter clones in the works, it’s hard to imagine carving out time to use another app, but Dorsey does have a solid track record of promoting engagement.
Bluesky announced its plans to run a beta in October. However, with the criticisms of Mastodon and other developers, and the uncertain relationship with Musk’s Twitter, it remains to be seen if Bluesky can carve out a niche in the already crowded social media market. The app is pinning its hopes on AT Protocol (AKA ADTX, or Authenticated Transfer Protocol), which The Verge describes as being “built based on four main ideals: account portability; algorithmic; performance; and interoperability.”
“This framework,” according to The Verge, “is supposed to allow you to easily transfer your account data to another Bluesky provider as well as give you more control over what you see on a network, among other things.”
TechCrunch managed to secure a close-up look at the app, and described it as “a functional, if still rather bare-bones, Twitter-like experience.”
Perhaps too Twitter-like. TechCrunch says that there is “something ironic about leaving Twitter to use an app that looks and feels so much like Twitter, right down to posts from Jack Dorsey as he muses over product concerns like ‘density of info,’ character count or in-app navigation.”
Even though Bluesky presents the possibility of a promising future with its AT protocol capability, TechCrunch says it still “feels like a stripped-down Twitter.”
In the end, what makes a social media site — regardless of functionality — is who decides to make it an online home. However similar Bluesky is to Twitter now, it may soon distinguish itself as a viable alternative for restless social media users nostalgically looking for a more random and somehow innocent time online.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, has officially released his ambitious new venture, the app BlueSky, to the App Store.
BlueSky is a new, alternative version of the popular microblogging and social media platform—Twitter—aimed at addressing the issue of online harassment, toxicity, and misinformation. The app allows users to “find solutions to difficult conversations and ultimately foster more meaningful conversations on the internet,” and aspires to create a “safer, healthier and more civil” online discourse.
BlueSky provides its users with an interactive and easy-to-use platform to monitor and track their conversations and how their words are being received by others. Users can create their own “Pocket” which is a private space for a particular user to post, comment, and gain feedback on their comments. These Pockets also serve as virtual measuring tools to monitor the users’ impact within the online community. In addition, the reporting system allows users to flag inappropriate posts within their Pockets.
The app has gained widespread attention from the media, especially from supporters of Dorsey’s goal to provide a alternative version of Twitter that can tackle the rampant issues of online harassment, toxicity, and misinformation. However, the app’s long-term success remains unclear, as it faces an uphill battle with the challenge of overcoming the entrenched habits of hundreds of millions of Twitter users.
For now, Dorsey and his team remain optimistic with their hopes for this project as they expand it to allow for broader usage. Whatever the outcome, BlueSky’s mission remains an important and admirable one, and could set a new standard for positive online conversations —making the internet a safer, healthier and more constructive place.