Jack Dorsey’s new Twitter alternative, Bluesky, is now available in closed beta on the App Store. The invite-only app could soon join a crowded field of budding Twitter competitors, including Mastodon.
Interested users can submit their email addresses to join the waitlist. The Bluesky app reportedly borrows heavily from Twitter. However, it includes minor differences like “What’s up?” in place of “What’s happening?” along with a simplified process of creating a post (which can also include photos) by selecting a plus button. Otherwise, it has familiar features like searching for and following users and viewing their posts on a Home timeline.
Bluesky began in 2019 as a Twitter-funded side project. Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter and was still CEO when the initiative started, saw it as a more open alternative to an increasingly centralized Twitter. Then, Bluesky spun off as its own company in 2021. Dorsey has said he believes social media should be free of corporate or government control and that only authors should have the power to remove their social-media content. Additionally, although he said Twitter’s decision to ban Donald Trump after his role in inciting the January 6th insurrection was “the right decision,” he also worried about its precedent in endangering a “free and open global internet.”
Whether Twitter users will flee to Bluesky (or other platforms) in large enough numbers to make a significant difference is an open question. However, considering many people seeking an alternative are doing so because of current CEO / owner Elon Musk’s headline-grabbing embrace of far-right figures and ideology, it may be illogical to expect them to flock to a brainchild of someone who holds reservations about banning anyone for any reason.