Bluesky, a potential alternative social media app to Twitter, released its beta version on the Apple app store on Tuesday. After Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion in October last year, Jack Dorsey announced that he would be focusing on Bluesky, a project he had conceptualized.
Bluesky was supposed to be an extension of Twitter’s platform until it split off and became its own “decentralized social network” in 2019. Early last year, the company announced that it had split from Twitter and Bluesky. It said, “Both Twitter and Bluesky realized that our independence is important to the success of the project, so we set up an independent company to make sure we serve as many people as possible.”
Users who are interested in downloading the Beta app from the App Store can do so by submitting their email addresses to be added to a waiting list.
Bluesky’s interface, is very similar to Twitter’s, with some minor differences. For example, instead of asking “What’s happening,” Bluesky asks “What’s up?” Bluesky also simplifies the process by including a plus button to add 256 characters with the option to add photos. It looks like it will also give the Home timeline a feed structure, separating posts from posts and replies.
However, if the two apps are virtually interchangeable, why would anyone want to switch? Moving to Bluesky could be seen as an inconvenience because users will lose access to their Twitter accounts and all of their posts, memories, and hot takes from the past decade.
In 2021, in response to then-President Trump’s Twitter ban, Dorsey began promoting the concept of Bluesky. He doubted that the ban was the best course of action. Dorsey said in a tweet that the company needs to look into how its service may encourage harmful and distracting behavior and that it needs to be more open about how it moderates content, but that these changes “cannot hurt a free and open global internet.”
Dorsey stated his hope that Bluesky’s split from Twitter would slow the pace at which major platforms moderate content and dilute their influence over who is responsible for doing so.
The company is “trying to do our part” by “funding an initiative around an open, decentralized standard for social media,” Dorsey tweeted in 2021. As a user of the public conversation layer of the internet, we plan to use this standard. We refer to it as “Blue Sky.”