Former Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, has long been in the process of launching a new social network that is expected to compete with the better-known bluebird platform, recently acquired by U.S. tycoon Elon Musk.
This social is called Bluesky and is still in the testing phase with a closed beta for iOS available in Apple's App Store from February 2023. The new app is thus available to a few thousand users, but in the coming weeks it is likely to be extended to a wider audience.
For Bluesky Dorsey preferred to rely on a open source protocol. In fact, the social is based on AT Protocol, thanks to which it has created a decentralized social network. So let's see what there is to know about this application and how it will work.
What is Bluesky?
Employing a protocol similar to Mastodon's, Bluesky's ambition is to put itself forward as a true alternative to the giant Twitter, but with one no small difference: the microblogging network is democratic and free since it is a self-managed platform by the members themselves.
Belonging to different providers, the thousands of sites that will make up Bluesky will be independent and different and will be able to communicate with each other and share data and information. In a nutshell, there will be autonomous nodes actively cooperating to provide the final service.
Jack Dorsey's app provided an initial version called ADX, later optimized and simplified to the current iOS version that is based on protocol AT Protocol (Authenticated Transfer Protocol). It is therefore a federated, open and decentralized social.
The adjective federated refers to the way servers interact with each other. In fact, the AT protocol is based on 4 key elements: account portability, interoperability, algorithm choice, and performance.
By doing so, even if people decide to use servers run by private companies, they will never be locked down. So, there is no external two-factor authentication and everything is in the hands of the users.
At decentralization of the social network are added the protection of personal data and the absence of advertisements or algorithms that impose specific content on surfers. Everyone will have the ability to manage their own personal area, choose which topics to view and with whom to share them.
Jack Dorsey started working on Bluesky in 2019, when he was still CEO of Twitter, and thanks to the company he was able to fund the initial development of the new platform, and then he untied and continued on his own.
Today the app has collected as many as 13 billion in funding, through which it was able to permanently disengage from Twitter with the promise of using technologies that allow for a public and decentralized conversation with freedom of expression, without censorship and with plurality of opinions.
How Bluesky works
As mentioned above, as of February 28, 2023 Bluesky is already available on theApp Apple Store, but it is accessible by invitation only. This is because it is still in a beta test phase. As of March 2023, there are just over 2,000 downloads, and a rollout date on Google Play has not yet been announced.
Nevertheless, the first reviews have already appeared on the web about the platform, which appears very similar to rival Twitter. Within the social, users can compose 256-character post With attached photos.
In addition, as is the case with Twitter, Bluesky also allows you to follow other people on the app with display of updates in the Feed Home. Participants can then mute, share or block accounts. The Discover feature offers helpful tips on who to follow and a feed of the latest updates.
This makes it easier to find the people most interesting to the user, based on what they share rather than just the account name. There is currently no chat and private message exchange function between users.
Pulling the strings, Bluesky appears to be a new version of the older Twitter but powered by a open source protocol. For many, however, this is not enough to make the social attractive and able to outclass the enemy.
For now, we just have to wait to see whether users will decide to leave centralized platforms for good and whether decentralized apps will be the future or more of a political and commercial move.