Home Latest Insights | News Jack Dorsey-Backed Bluesky App Gains Popularity Over the Past Few Months, Set to Rival Twitter

Jack Dorsey-Backed Bluesky App Gains Popularity Over the Past Few Months, Set to Rival Twitter

Jack Dorsey-Backed Bluesky App Gains Popularity Over the Past Few Months, Set to Rival Twitter
The Bluesky social media app logo is seen on a mobile device in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland on 21 April, 2023. Founder Jack Dorsey of twitter has released the Bluesky application on Android. (Photo by Jaap Arriens / Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Decentralized social media platform, Bluesky, which was conceptualized by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has reportedly gained popularity over the past few months as it looks set to rival Twitter.

The app which has been in a closed beta for barely two months has seen a growing user base on the waitlist. According to reports, the iOS app has been downloaded more than 375,000 times, which is impressive, considering that the app only has about 65,000 users.

By the end of April 2023, Bluesky reportedly reached 50,000 users and 628,000 downloads, representing a 606% rise from March when it became available on Android.

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The app has seen the presence of notable figures and organizations, from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and CNN’s Jake Tapper, to Twitter exile NPR, who have all moved to the app to enjoy better user experience.

Advocates disclose that decentralized projects like Bluesky are less likely to collect and sell users’ data, and are less susceptible to censorship. Bluesky has gained more attention than the decentralized messaging app Mastodon, which attracted a lot of interest in November as a possible alternative to Twitter.

Recall that Jack Dorsey introduced the Bluesky project back in 2019 while he was still Twitter CEO. At the time, he revealed that Twitter would be funding a small independent team of up to five open-source architects, engineers, and designers, charged with building a decentralized standard for social media, with the original goal that Twitter would adopt this standard itself.

But that was before Elon Musk bought the platform, in October last year 2022, which has now seen Bluesky completely disengaged from Twitter. Bluesky is a decentralized social app conceptualized and developed in parallel with Twitter. The social network has a Twitter-like user interface, similar color, algorithmic choice, a federated design, and community-specific moderation.

The app functions much like a bare-bones Twitter, in which users can click on the plus button to create a post of 256 characters, which can also include photos and videos. However, there is no support for videos and direct messages on it so far.

Also, posts  can be replied to, retweeted, liked, and, from a three-dot menu, reported, shared via the iOS Share Sheet to other apps, or copied as text. Users can also search for and follow others.

While the UX and the features of Bluesky resemble Twitter to a significant degree, the key goal of Bluesky isn’t aesthetics, features, or the UX, the chief goal why Bluesky was created, was to allow users to build independent social media experiences, such that they can join a specific ‘server’ that has its own unique set of rules, interests, and participants.

The big question is, can Bluesky effectively scale once it opens to the general public, and can it turn out to be a strong rival for Twitter?

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