Since Elon Musk completed his $44 billion takeover of X (formerly Twitter), new social media platforms have been created to try and compete with this juggernaut. One prime example of this is Threads. However, have you heard of Bluesky Social?
In this article, we discuss what Bluesky is, how it works and if it’s worth signing up.
What is Bluesky?
Bluesky is a social network available for desktop, iPhone and Android users that operates as an invite-only, decentralised, text-based platform. Bluesky originated as a project initiated by Jack Dorsey in 2019 during his tenure as Twitter’s CEO. However, the social app transitioned into an independent company upon its inception in 2021. While Jack Dorsey sits on the company’s board, he has no involvement in the day-to-day development. The platform’s current CEO is Jay Graber, a former software engineer at the cryptocurrency Zcash.
As of September 2023, Bluesky Social has over 1 million users and will continue to grow as the company has up to 3 million more invitations to send out to new users.
How does Bluesky work?
Bluesky functions very similar to the Twitter of old. Users create a profile, follow other users, like and repost content and share text-based posts of up to 300 characters. Users also get three different feeds:
- Popular with friends
Additionally, you also have the option to modify your feeds so they show specific types of content.
When it comes to your username, it will look something like this: @username.bsky.social. However, with the platform panning to be an ad-free space, to make some money, you are given the option to pay for a domain. In our case, our username would normally be @littlemediaagency.bsky.social, but we can change it by removing the ‘bsky.social’, and our username would then be @littlemediaagency.com.
A cool feature of Bluesky is that you can select the language of your post. For example, if you want your post to be in Korean, simply click ‘Korean’ from the list.
How do I get a Bluesky invite?
As mentioned previously, Bluesky is an invite-only social networking platform, and as of the time creating this blog, there are only two ways to get an invitation.
The first way is by joining the waiting list. To join the waiting list, all you have to do is click ‘Join the waitlist’ and enter your email address. The waiting time can take a few weeks as they send tens of thousands of invitation codes via email on a weekly basis.
The second way to get an invitation is by receiving a code from someone who is already signed up. Users who are on the platform receive invitation codes periodically.
Why is it invitation-only?
According to the Bluesky team, it helps limit the number of fake accounts from signing up, and it also helps the team moderate content as the platform grows.
What is a decentralised platform?
A decentralised platform operates on independent servers and is not under the control of a singular server or company. Through this, users on Bluesky have more control over how they want the platform to run and how they think content should be moderated.
In addition to being decentralised, Bluesky is also an open-source platform, which means that people can see and learn how it is built and what is being developed. This is all done through an AT Protocol, which you can learn more about here.
Should your business sign up?
If you are looking to use Bluesky to promote your products or services, there are a few factors that you need to be aware of.
As Bluesky is a relatively new platform, the user base is tiny compared to more established platforms such as X, Instagram and Threads. With over a million users, you need to find out if your target audience is present. According to Similarweb, the audience of blueskyweb.xyz is made up of 61.51% male and 38.49% female.
Here is a full breakdown of the age ranges:
- 18 – 24 (33.94%)
- 25 – 24 (28.08%)
- 35 – 44 (15.79%)
- 45 – 54 (10.94%)
- 55 – 64 (6.84%)
- 65+ (4.42%)
According to Similarweb, the top five countries where web traffic arrives from are as follows:
- United States (24.23%)
- Germany (12.51%)
- France (4.52%)
- Finland (4.2%)
- Canada (4.19%)
With Bluesky being an ad-free zone, navigating through the platform feels less promotional compared to other sites. Due to this, using Bluesky to promote your products and services will be challenging. However, your business can still use the platform to your advantage, depending on whether it is right for you. If you sign up before it becomes popular, you will already have a head start on your competitors. Additionally, you can use the platform to build new communities relevant to your business and interact with your target audience.
Due to the platform still being in its infancy stage, there is no clear formula for creating and posting successful content. This allows your business to test different types of content and see what works well for your industry.
What are the reviews?
The reviews left on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store are mixed. The users have been displaying their dissatisfaction that there is no compatibility for iPads and that some people are still waiting for the invitation code. However, some users believe that the app has the potential to replace X if given the right support. Some users are experiencing bugs, such as being unable to upload images from their phones and turning to the desktop version. However, other users understand that the app is still in beta, so it won’t be perfect, and it will need new updates.
In essence, Bluesky can become a dynamic player within the social media landscape. Functioning as a decentralised and open-source platform, Bluesky empowers users with greater control over their experience and content moderation. The decentralised nature and an open-source approach invite transparency and collaboration within the community. However, with its mixed reviews and lack of features, it’s clear that new updates will be needed in the future if the platform wants to be successful.
For businesses thinking about signing up to promote their products, whilst you will be able to communicate with your target audience and start forming relationships, without paid advertising, it will take hard work to promote their offerings. But who knows what the future holds? Although there is yet to be any advertising, it doesn’t mean to say that it will be the same in a few years.