Bluesky, the decentralized social networking platform supported by Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, has expanded its reach to Android users. Initially launched for iOS users in late February, the app is still in closed beta. Dorsey’s involvement and the platform’s exclusivity have fueled interest in the emerging social network, which aims to address Twitter’s shortcomings related to moderation and centralized control.
Bluesky’s vision includes offering users a choice of algorithms, enabling them to control their own feed content rather than relying on a central authority. However, at its debut, the platform lacks many of Twitter’s familiar features, such as tracking likes or bookmarks, editing tweets, quote-tweeting, DMs, hashtags, and more.
The platform utilizes its own AT Protocol, diverging from the widely adopted ActivityPub, which powers open-source Twitter alternative Mastodon and other decentralized applications in the broader “Fediverse.” This decision situates Bluesky outside the current decentralized social networking landscape.
Mastodon, despite facing criticism for complexity and negative atmosphere, has experienced increased interest following Elon Musk’s turbulent Twitter involvement. Former Twitter app developers have shifted their attention to Mastodon, launching polished clients like Ivory and Mammoth. Additionally, Flipboard and Medium have established their own Mastodon servers, and Tumblr is exploring its options.
Bluesky’s demand has grown, with its waitlist system and limited invites contributing to increased interest. The network recently expanded its user base, now boasting approximately 20,000 users. The Android app launch indicates Bluesky’s intent to further grow its audience.
Bluesky’s future funding remains uncertain. The platform received $13 million last year as it separated from Twitter, allowing it to pursue R&D independently. Jack Dorsey remains on Bluesky’s board while also dedicating time to projects like Nostr and Block. It is unlikely that Musk’s Twitter will continue funding its competitor, leading Bluesky to potentially seek further capital.
This places Bluesky in competition with other Twitter alternatives, such as Mastodon, T2, Spill, and Post, all vying for investor support and dissatisfied users. Consequently, the Twitter diaspora might not consolidate in a “new Twitter,” but rather be dispersed across numerous smaller communities offering similar experiences.