Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of the renowned social networking platform Twitter, has made significant strides with Bluesky, a decentralized alternative to Twitter. The new mobile application of Bluesky has entered private beta testing, indicating that the project is moving forward. The app is currently available on the Apple app store as an invite-only app, allowing selected individuals to try out the new social experience by creating an account through an invite code.
TechCrunch reported that the Bluesky iOS app was launched on February 17 and has amassed approximately 2,000 installs as of February 28. While the app is not yet available for Android testers on Google Play, it appears to be a promising alternative to Twitter. The Bluesky app store preview indicates that the rival app looks very much like Twitter, with the interface having many Twitter-like features, including how handles, followers, posts, and replies are presented. The app’s feed also has likes, comments, and reposts, much like Twitter.
Despite its similarity to Twitter, Bluesky has several technical features that differentiate it from Elon Musk’s social media giant. The platform aims to provide a decentralized social network protocol, which is expected to make its user data free from influence by any government or corporation. Bluesky is built on the AT protocol, a new federated social network that integrates ideas from the latest decentralized technologies. The AT protocol is Bluesky’s main effort to enable a new way for servers to communicate with each other, allowing individuals and businesses to self-host and have multiple websites instead of one.
Bluesky is set to have advanced tools, such as adding accounts to lists, in the future. Currently, users can create a post of up to 265 characters or just fewer than Twitter’s 280 characters. Instead of Twitter’s “What’s happening?” Bluesky asks, “What’s up?” Users can share, mute, and block accounts on the app.
As previously reported, Bluesky released its first batch of code in early May 2022, a few weeks before Dorsey exited Twitter’s board of directors. In October, Bluesky officially introduced the Bluesky social app and the AT protocol, which came nearly three years after Dorsey launched the project with support from Twitter in 2019.
In other news, Dorsey reportedly moved some Bitcoin using his other social protocol, Nostr. Damus. The first mobile app to leverage the protocol was published on the app store in February 2023.