Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, has launched a new social media app called Bluesky. Although it bears a striking resemblance to Twitter in terms of its profiles, timelines, and colors, Bluesky sets itself apart with its decentralized network and user-controlled features. This innovative platform has gained significant attention from journalists, politicians, and celebrities, indicating its potential to become a major player in the social media landscape.

Bluesky is a microblogging social network that allows users to post and follow short updates on a timeline, similar to Twitter. While it shares many similarities with its predecessor, Bluesky does have some notable differences. Currently, there are no hashtags, which are a central feature on Twitter, and direct messages are not available. However, these distinctions may change as the app continues to evolve.

Bluesky was developed independently of Twitter while Jack Dorsey was still serving as CEO. Initially funded by Twitter, Bluesky became an independent organization in February 2022. Dorsey’s vision for Bluesky is to create an open community that includes companies, organizations, researchers, and civil society leaders. He believes that if a service operates as a protocol, it cannot be owned by a state or company. This decentralized approach aims to give users more control over how the platform is run, how their data is stored, and how content is moderated.

One of the reasons many individuals are joining Bluesky is their dissatisfaction with the direction Twitter has taken under the ownership of Elon Musk. Since Musk took over Twitter, controversial changes have been made to its features and policies, including the removal of blue checkmarks from prominent users. High-profile individuals, such as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and model Chrissy Teigen, who have been critical of Musk’s actions on Twitter, have now turned to Bluesky as an alternative.

According to data from data.ai, Bluesky has already been downloaded over 375,000 times from the Apple App Store and has a significant number of sign-up requests on its waitlist. On the Google Play Store, the app has been downloaded over 100,000 times. This early traction suggests that Bluesky may have the potential to rival Twitter, which had over 200 million monetizable daily active users before Musk’s acquisition.

Mark Bartholomew, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law, emphasizes the positive impact of competition in the social media landscape. He believes that users benefit from having more choices and the ability to find platforms that align with their preferences for privacy, portability, and content moderation. Bartholomew sees the early shift towards Bluesky as a step in the right direction for social media users who want more control over their online experience. He believes that competition can drive innovation and lead to improved user experiences.

Currently, Bluesky is invite-only as the platform continues to develop and expand its network. Existing users receive one invite code to share with someone every two weeks. The exclusivity surrounding Bluesky’s invitation system has added to the excitement surrounding the app, with users comparing invite codes to the coveted blue checkmarks on Twitter.

First reported by CNN

John Boitnott

John Boitnott is a news anchor at ReadWrite. Boitnott has worked at TV News Anchor, print, radio and Internet companies for 25 years. He's an advisor at StartupGrind and has written for BusinessInsider, Fortune, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur and Venturebeat. You can see his latest work on his blog, John Boitnott