Could Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky be the Twitter replacement that we need?
As legacy checkmarks are removed on Twitter, leaving many high profile users more vulnerable to impersonation, Bluesky, the decentralized Twitter alternative, has been released on Android, which follows its initial launch on iOS back in February.
Though it currently remains invite-only, which will restrict take-up for now. But still, Bluesky is growing fast, and as you can see, it’s essentially a re-skinned version of the classic Twitter UI, and as more people go looking for a Twitter replacement, maybe now is the time for Bluesky to make a move, and expand access to more users.
Like Mastodon, Bluesky is built on a decentralized framework, which will put more control over each element of the experience into the hands of users.
As per the Bluesky website:
“We’re focusing on re-building the social web by connecting disconnected silos and returning control of the social experience to users. Our mission is to develop and drive the adoption of technologies for open and decentralized public conversation.”
Decentralization is also a key focus of the cryptocurrency movement, which essentially aims to take the power away from the traditional powers that be, and put it back into the hands of the people, by providing each person with a means to manage their own data and process.
From a social media perspective, Bluesky is a means to re-distribute power back to users, and away from the few big tech players, in the form of more control over how algorithms and engagement systems are developed.
At the launch of the project, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the main driver of Bluesky, outlined three key focus areas for the project:
- To facilitate enhanced efforts to address abuse and misleading information
- To enable users and the broader community to have more input into platform algorithms
- To improve conversational health by giving people more input into platform rules
Which no doubt sounds pretty appealing to many social media users, and as Elon and Co. continue to erode what Twitter itself once was, it could be that Bluesky shapes up as a better alternative to the other Twitter clones that are cropping up within smaller communities.
Indeed, according to The Verge’s Jay Peters, it’s currently the best Twitter alternative:
“Right now, it’s a pretty small community of over 25,000 people, and it feels like everyone is really dedicated to maintaining a positive environment. It’s also a nice break from Twitter, which continues to get worse every day”
Given that various former tweeps are working on it, it makes sense that Bluesky feels very Twitter-esque - and again, with more people now seeking an alternative, it could be the right time for Bluesky to rise, and gather-up cast-offs from its former parent app.
Which would no doubt anger Elon, who’s repeatedly sought to penalize and punish companies that he feels have wronged him.
As part of Elon Musk’s takeover at Twitter, Dorsey rolled over his shares of Twitter into Bluesky, which had been wholly funded by Twitter at that point. If Bluesky emerges as a competitor, you can bet that Elon will see this as a slight, which could have impacts for the new app, if Elon decides to come after it.
But it is, indeed, increasingly looking like it will be a viable Twitter alternative. Which is probably needed – and with Elon continuing to attack news organizations, it would be little surprise to see more of them emerge on Bluesky instead, which may spark the beginning of a bigger shift.