Are you interested in the new social media platform set to compete with Twitter?
Bluesky is a decentralized social network headed by CEO Jay Graber, with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey serving on its board of directors.
What is Bluesky?
In December 2019, Dorsey announced in a series of tweets that Twitter would fund a small independent team of up to five people to develop an open and decentralized social media standard.
The aim was for Twitter to one day become a customer of this standard.
Dorsey highlighted several factors that prompted this move:
- Challenges that come with centralized control include difficulties in enforcing policies globally to combat abuse and misinformation.
- The changing value of social media from hosting and content removal to recommendation algorithms. These currently typically proprietary algorithms draw the attention of users. Dorsey hopes Bluesky would allow alternatives to be built.
- Existing incentives on social media often draw attention to controversial and outrageous content, rather than encouraging informative and healthy conversation.
- Recent technological advances like blockchain have made decentralized solutions more viable. These solutions could lead to open and persistent hosting, governance and monetization.
We call this team @blue sky. Our CTO @ParagA will make sure from the start to find a leader who will then hire and lead the rest of the team. Please follow us or send us a DM @blue sky If you are interested in learning more or getting involved! ????????????
– Jack (@jack) December 11, 2019
Bluesky strives for social networks to function as open systems similar to e-mails, blogs or telephone numbers, facilitating online interactions.
The Bluesky developers have created the AT protocol, which is nearing completion. The AT protocol aims to bring modern social media and online public conversations more in line with the early Internet era, when anyone could create a blog or use RSS to follow multiple blogs.
The Bluesky app demonstrates the features of this protocol.
Bluesky hopes this will lead to new advances in social media and allow researchers and communities to solve problems social networks are currently facing, Dorsey tweeted.
Social media problems that Bluesky wants to solve
Most traditional social networks are closed platforms controlled by a central authority that dictates user and developer permissions.
When a user decides to leave a traditional social network, they have to start over, losing their connections and content in the process. For developers, creating a new app requires overcoming network effects and rebuilding the social graph from scratch.
Furthermore, they run the risk of being shut down abruptly if they try to build using these companies’ APIs.
Likewise, content creators may lose their audience if the platform changes its rules.
The AT protocol aims to change this scenario and provide a more open, democratic and innovative environment for users, developers and content creators.
How to get a Bluesky invite code
There are several ways to get an invite to Bluesky.
You can join the waiting list and wait for an invitation from Bluesky.
You can ask your friends on other social networks if they have an invite.
You can search Bluesky invite code on twitter. See the latest results and respond quickly to receive an invite. (This is the method that worked for me.)
You can even buy a Bluesky invite code on eBay.
How to create your Bluesky account
Once you have your invite code, you can create your account on the website or in the Bluesky app on the App Store or Google Play.
You can choose the default Bluesky server (email@example.com) or follow these instructions to use your own domain (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can switch to your own domain later in your account settings.
Next, enter your invite code, email address, password and date of birth.
Finally, choose a user handle. You can change this later in your account settings.
How to edit your Bluesky profile
Once you’ve finished setting up your account, you’ll want to view and edit your profile before connecting with others.
You can add a cover photo, profile photo, display name, and a 256-character description.
While there isn’t a dedicated field for links to your website or other social profiles, you can include a link in the description.
How to post an update on Bluesky
Bluesky allows you to post 300 character updates with text, up to four images, and links.
Note that all profiles and posts are public and the User Content you share is subject to the Bluesky Terms of Service.
In the Terms of Service, Bluesky states that when you post content (such as text, images, or video) on a platform or service provided by Bluesky, you grant Bluesky and its affiliates the right to use and share that content split.
These Terms allow Bluesky to use, copy, modify, distribute and display Your Content in a variety of ways, including promoting Bluesky and its Services through social media channels.
I’ll try to make it clear here. First off, Jack is one of three Bluesky board members and has no personal license to any content.
For example, with the term “Rights in User Generated Content” we can do the following: Use screenshots of User Generated Content in the App Store. pic.twitter.com/yp4SOgJfBS
— Jay Graber (@arcalinea) April 28, 2023
They can do this without paying you. The advantage is that your content will not be used in sponsored content without your permission.
How to build your Bluesky network
To find people to connect with, use search to look for posts and users with specific keywords.
You can reply to, repost and like other users’ posts. The three dots offer additional options, including translating and sharing with other networks.
Go to the Users tab to find related accounts to follow.
When you visit another user’s profile, you can follow them or use the three dots to find more options, including an option to add the user to a list.
Bluesky Lists vs. Twitter Lists
It’s important to note that Bluesky lists are not like Twitter lists.
On Twitter, you add users to lists if you want to follow them more closely.
On Bluesky, add users to lists to mute their activity.
If you create a Bluesky mute list, it will appear on your profile. However, you can follow other users’ mute lists to privately ignore the same group of users.
In addition to the public mute lists, you can access other ways to moderate the content you see on Bluesky in the Moderation section.
Here you can update your content filter settings, mute an account, or suspend an account.
How to change your Bluesky user ID or Bluesky domain
As previously mentioned, you can visit your account settings to change your user account.
You can also update your user handle to use your domain instead of @bsky.social.
The next step in decentralized social media
Bluesky could envision a decentralized social media approach that could alleviate many of the problems traditional social platforms are struggling with today.
Bluesky seems eager to usher in a new age of digital communications with the advancement of the AT protocol.
With the problems it wants to solve and the open standard it wants to establish, Bluesky could be the blueprint for the future of social media. It remains to be seen how well Bluesky will perform after the beta phase.
Featured image: Tada Images/Shutterstock