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Is Bluesky the new Twitter? No, it's not meant to be.

screenshot of bluesky social app

What is Bluesky?

As users and brands grapple with the recent changes (and controversy) on Twitter, a new platform is emerging as a viable alternative. Bluesky, funded by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is looking to replace the flailing platform with a new -- and safer -- experience for everyone. Twitter has become the subject of scrutiny and discontent in the months following Elon Musk's takeover and the much-derided announcement of new CEO Linda Yaccarino. The platform has been plagued by outages and has seen a sharp spike in harassment, misinformation, and hate speech. Many advertisers have already left.

Is Bluesky the new Twitter?

On the surface, Bluesky looks a lot like its bird-themed predecessor. Users can create updates of up to 256 characters, add photos and videos, and engage with posts in a similar way. But what sets Bluesky apart from other platforms is its decentralized AT Protocol. What does that mean to the average person? Basically, it means that when you join Bluesky, you will have the choice to join a specific server within the platform based on what community you want to be part of and what kind of content you want to see. These individual servers will be built by outside developers with the ability to create their own social apps using the AT Protocol and monitor the content how they choose. This feature doesn't technically exist yet, but it's what the platform is building toward.

"Users will also be able to control the algorithms that determine what content is served to them,” said a Bluesky company blog post in October 2022.

Once built, Bluesky users could move between the different apps taking their followers, usernames, and data along with them.

3 screenshots of Bluesky app

What's next for Bluesky?

As of now, Bluesky is in beta, meaning users can only join the main network, but the team plans to roll out the "federated" approach, enabling independent communities to be operated on the open-source network. For brands, Bluesky could equate to an efficient way to build niche communities of users and customers. We could envision content-driven industries like media, entertainment, travel and finance building their own social apps on the Bluesky AT Protocol and using it to deepen relationships with customers that drive results. But the question of depth versus scale remains to be seen. In its current state, Bluesky is invite-only, and there are only 50,000 users. But the buzz around this one is white hot, and it's only a matter of time before Bluesky becomes more than an interesting MarTech story. If you're interested in joining the waitlist, simply visit the Beta website to enter your email. We'll be keeping our eyes on Bluesky.

This story originally appeared in our weekly Paid Media Insights newsletter. For more tips, research, & analysis, subscribe for free here.


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