Dorsey’s Bluesky Heats Up with Well-Timed Influencer Invites

Jack Dorsey’s alternative to Twitter called Bluesky is taking off. Last week, Bluesky had its biggest single-day jump in new sign-ups. Still in beta, the platform has only a few thousand users, but seems to have the right ones. High-profile socialistas including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) model Chrissy Teigen and influencer Dril (Paul Dochney) have joined, and thousands of others are waitlisted. Bluesky began rolling out to iOS devices in February and added Android last month. The app offers some of the same features as Twitter, including the ability to post short text and photo updates, replies and shares.

The main difference is Bluesky is designed as a decentralized system. That means others will eventually be able to build and market their own apps as well as create their own communities for it. “A big part of our development philosophy has been to build on existing software stacks that make interoperability simple,” Bluesky CEO Jay Graber said in a blog post.

Dorsey — Twitter’s most famous co-founder — developed Bluesky, and its early users say it “has come the closest to mimicking Twitter’s tone and feel,” according to The New York Times, which emphasizes the newcomer’s open protocol sets it apart.

“Social media platforms have traditionally been walled gardens,” NYT writes, explaining “your tweets show up on Twitter and your photos show up on Instagram, but they cannot be easily cross-posted across those social networks.”

While cross-posting apps like Hootsuite and Buffer offer a workaround by automating re-postings, true interoperability would require changes to APIs that the legacy socials are unlikely to make anytime soon.

Dorsey’s aim is for Bluesky and its AT Protocol to help jumpstart the new wave of decentralized platforms (like Mastodon and, not to do more across established ones.

Earlier this year, The Washington Post described Bluesky as “a decentralized social media network that would allow individuals, businesses and organizations to host their own sites that will be able to communicate with one another” as well as “transport their accounts from one provider to the next.”

The Post article went on to report that “Facebook parent company Meta is considering building a new decentralized social media network,” and quotes Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives calling it a “smart move.”

The Verge says Bluesky is “still missing table-stakes features like video uploads and DMs,” but adds that it “has suddenly filled up with tech media” and Twitter notables. Although the Bluesky app landing page asks visitors to join the waitlist, NYT reports that insiders are being invited to jump the line by providing “an invitation code from a current user.” The strategy has created buzz.

“Part of the app’s appeal is its exclusivity,” writes Vox, noting that “for now, Bluesky has set up one main server that everyone is on,” but that the plan is to eventually have people joining different servers with their own interests and rules, like Discord and Mastodon.

Bluesky “could quickly fade into obscurity, like the many trendy social apps before it, including Clubhouse and BeReal,” Vox says, but concludes it’s “the most serious contender we’ve had for a Twitter replacement just yet,” and calls its timing, as Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk struggles to reinvent the platform, “perfect.”

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