The decentralized Twitter-like social media platform backed by Jack Dorsey – Bluesky – just hit the Apple App Store today and, even though only those who have been invited can access the micro-blogging space, many reviews circulating already for this beta version.
The so-called “fediverse” appears to keep growing following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and the rising popularity of platforms like Mastodon, which offer users the possibility of joining independent servers run by other people that either share a similar interest, live in the same geographical area, or would like to engage in conversations about a certain topic.
Also read: Mastodon is Growing As a Result of Twitter’s Mistakes
It is now the turn of Bluesky, an app that was born inside of Twitter in 2019 and that has been considered what Jack Dorsey really wanted for the micro-blogging platform he founded as messages with Elon Musk prior to the acquisition of his firm highlighted that Dorsey was not happy with turning Twitter into a company.
Here’s What We Know About Bluesky
The tech-focused magazine TechCrunch had access to Bluesky. At this moment, the app is only available for Apple devices and it can only be accessed by those who have been invited.
The online magazine reported that Bluesky is pretty much an in-the-works Twitter-like micro-blogging space that shares many of the characteristics of the platform now owned by Musk.
Also read: Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky Decentralized Social Media App Will Not be Blockchain-Based
The maximum length of the posts at the moment is set at 256 characters and photos can be added to them. Users can use a search bar to locate people and follow them while each individual profile displays similar information to Twitter including a picture, a bio, and the usual metrics – i.e. number of followers and followed.
Other people’s posts can be replied to, propagated (retweeted), and liked. Thus far, there is no direct messaging module – probably still under construction – and TechCrunch found and reported a few bugs that the developing team promised to solve rapidly.
What Is the Fediverse And Where Did It Come From?
The term “fediverse” comes from the concept of federated networks, which are a group of interconnected computers that act as independent servers for a specific program. These computers are autonomous and they typically run on open-source software.
In the case of Bluesky, the model is called Authenticated Transfer Protocol (ATP), which is similar to the ActivityPub protocol used to run Mastodon’s servers.
These protocols are not governed by a central authority such as is the case of the most popular social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Instead, they are run by people or organizations that can unilaterally shut them down and moderate the content within them as they please.
The core principle behind this model is that people will eventually go to the servers they like the most. These servers typically have rules and share guidelines with their users to regulate how the community interacts with each other. If you don’t like a server, you just go to another one.
One of the caveats of this model, however, is that, if a server is shut down, all the posts, account data, and interactions you had in it are deleted as well unless you had a backup for them.
Also read: Tapbots Unveils New Mastodon Client Ivory
What Bluesky wants to do is create a unique social media identity for everyone that can be used in every server that runs on ATP. This ensures that, regardless of what happens to the ecosystem, your data, interactions, and other similar information will stay safe.
This would also simplify the user’s experience within multiple social media platforms as they would only have to use a single account instead of many to access those interfaces. This is a bit idealistic considering that there are commercial interests behind every one of these platforms but it is what Bluesky is ultimately aiming for.
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