Rewind to a few months ago, and everybody was seeking out a Bluesky invite. The much-sought-after social network has been invite-only since its launch last year, and if we’re being honest, for a while, a winning lottery ticket was easier to source than one of those.
So, it’s just as well that Bluesky has now officially opened its doors to the public starting today. This means creators will be able to invite any and all of their audiences to interact with them on the burgeoning platform.
The social network, which is funded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, currently has 3 million total users, according to the site. That might seem like nothing compared to Twitter’s half a billion users and Threads’ 130 million users, but there’s one important thing that differentiates Bluesky from its competitors: the fact that its code is completely open source.
This, as pointed out by TechCrunch, means that everything is publicized and transparent — people can see exactly how the site is being built and how. This type of digital infrastructure is known as the AT protocol, and what it does is give developers the freedom to create whatever they want while remaining public and transparent.
“When you log in to Bluesky, it might look and feel familiar — the user experience should be straightforward. But under the hood, we’ve designed the app in a way that puts control back in your hands,” the site explained in a blog post.
“Here, your experience online isn’t controlled by a single company. Whether it’s your timeline or content filters, on Bluesky, you can easily customize your social experience,” it continued.
However, this has both positive and negative consequences. On one hand, creators will, in the foreseeable future, be able to customize the social experience to their liking by curating their own feeds, algorithms, and other tools. This includes another upcoming update that will reportedly allow individuals to create their own content moderation services.
But on the other hand, the platform is, by and large, taking a more hands-off approach to content moderation. This could potentially cause some trouble for the long-term health and safety of the site.
As the floodgates open, Bluesky’s current user base has a very specific way to deal with what they call “bad actors” on the platform.
“There is no algorithm here to promote or spread them, replying to them is what puts them on everybody’s timelines,” one user wrote. “So block and give no oxygen.”
Another Bluesky user advised the same thing, noting how by not engaging, “their accounts will die/wither.”
“In all seriousness, the best thing about Bluesky culture is [that] ‘blocking other accounts for any reason at any time is totally acceptable,’” another added. “And strongly encourage new users to keep that in mind.”