Discussions have been raging this week around Bluesky, a new social media platform dubbed Twitter 2.0. Notable Twitter users have joined, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen.Thousands more are begging Invitation card give it.
Some Twitter users have been looking for alternative social platforms since Elon Musk bought the company last year and then changed the service. Users of Bluesky say the app, funded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, comes closest to imitating Twitter’s tone and feel.
Here’s what to know about it.
What is blue sky?
Bluesky is a social network that provides many of the same core features as Twitter. Users can post short text and photo updates, reply to each other and share other people’s posts.
The app is still in development and will be available for iOS devices in February and Android devices this month.
How is Bluesky different from Twitter?
Jay Graber, CEO of Bluesky, once blog post It’s no coincidence that the app looked like Twitter last month. But unlike Twitter, Bluesky plans to be a decentralized system, meaning people may eventually be able to build their own apps and communities on it. Ms Graber said it was designed so no one person could make the rules for the entire Bluesky community.
Bluesky also operates using an “open protocol”. This is unusual because social media platforms have traditionally been walled gardens, meaning that content posted on each platform stays only on that platform. For example, your tweets appear on Twitter and your photos appear on Instagram, but they cannot easily be cross-posted across these social networks.
But as Bluesky is trying to become more open, it may one day allow posts to flow easily between different social media platforms.
Last month, a Bluesky user speculated that the app’s name came from Mr. Dorsey’s desire to turn Twitter into an open protocol, freeing Twitter’s bird mascot into the blue sky.Mr Dorsey responded“Yes.”
How to join Blue Sky?
Bluesky is still in development and is currently invite-only. In a post on the platform last month, Ms Graber said the app was building moderation tools before opening it up to the public. To sign up, people need the invitation code of the current user.
Why did the blue sky become popular?
Since Mr. Musk bought Twitter, he has transformed the service by removing restrictions on the platform’s online speech and changing its verification practices. These have led to confusion for some users, as well as an increase in misinformation and hate speech on the platform.
As such, Twitter users have tested alternatives. In recent months, some have migrated to Mastodon, another decentralized social media platform that it says aims to “A Viable Twitter Alternative“
Bluesky was initially limited to a small group of tech insiders. Several prominent Twitter accounts and public figures — such as Ms. Ocasio Cortez, Ms. Teigen and social media star Dril — joined the platform Thursday, causing a stir.
Bluesky users seem to appreciate the app’s similarities to Twitter, including referring to posts on the app as “skeeters,” like a tweeting game. Even Ms Graber’s request for a name change on Thursday didn’t seem to deter them.
Kate Conger Contribution report.