'BlueSky' wants to market itself as a 'Musk-free' space, says CEO

"BlueSky," a decentralized alternative to Twitter is accepting new users.
Christopher McFadden
Jack Dorsey and BlueSky
Jack Dorsey and BlueSky

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A new decentralized "Musk-proof" version of Twitter has been announced called "BlueSky." Unveiled in an interview by "BlueSky's" CEO Jay Graber, the new social media platform has been incubated by Twitter and is almost ready for general release.

Twitter's former CEO Jack Dorsey founded the new Twitter alternative just before Musk's takeover of Twitter as a "public benefit" company to build an open-source, decentralized social media protocol. Initially set up as an invite-only access platform, it has now started to accept other users.

As a proffered competitor to Twitter, this puts "BlueSky" in direct competition with other new social media platforms like Nostr and Mastodon, the former also funded and supported by Dorsey.

But is it any good? According to the Verge, which had early access, it is currently a "shameless clone of Twitter." However, it does have some key differences from the latter. For example, " a key difference is that it defaults to a chronological feed of who you follow and lets you choose to toggle between a 'What’s Hot' algorithmic feed.," the Verge reports.

"BlueSky" also lacks some critical decentralized functions, like the ability to export account data. It also lacks, at present, a promised marketplace of feed algorithms that users can select from. But, as Verge points out, it is still very early for the new social media platform.

But what makes "BlueSky" different from its other non-Twitter competitors? "We’ve designed a protocol that has three big things we think are missing from the Mastodon ecosystem: account portability, global discoverability, [and] composable, customizable curation and moderation.," explained BlueSky's CEO Jay Graber.

"We don’t see ourselves as [competing] with Mastodon — we welcome approaches to decentralize social platforms and are simply taking a different, opinionated approach. Our focus right now is on building out our approach and proving it works at scale," she added.

Graber also addressed concerns around rumors that Elon Musk plans to ban links to rival sites like BlueSky on Twitter. "As the owner of a centralized site, he is free to do that if he wants. But this is exactly why what we’re building is important — the AT Protocol gives users freedom, and developers locked-open APIs," Grabber explained.

If this does happen, Grabber explained how a similar thing wouldn't be possible on "BlueSky" due to its inherent decentralized nature. "That’s the benefit of account portability between services that we’ve designed around. Users can still opt into the convenience of an easy-to-use service, but the user’s ability to leave when they want constrains the service’s ability to abuse their power," Graber told the Verge.