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Jack Dorsey’s Social Platform Bluesky Drops Invite-Only Requirement

BlueSky

Social media app and so-called “Twitter alternative” Bluesky dropped its red velvet rope.

After almost a year as an invitation-only microblogging site, the 3-million-member platform is now letting anyone who wants to join sign up, the company said in a blog post Tuesday (Feb. 6), while announcing planned updates.

Among them is a pilot version of “federation,” which the company described in the post as a feature that makes its network “so open and customizable.”

“On Bluesky, you’ll have the freedom to choose (and the right to leave) instead of being held to the whims of private companies or black-box algorithms,” the blog post said. “And wherever you go, your friends and relationships can go with you.”

In an interview with Tech Crunch Tuesday, Bluesky CEO Jay Graber spoke of the importance of the site’s decentralized model.

“What decentralization gets you is the ability to try multiple things in parallel, and so you’re not bottlenecking change on one organization,” Graber said, per the report. “The way we built Bluesky actually lets anyone insert a change into the product.”

Meanwhile, Bluesky plans to update its moderation services and release labeling services, which will let users add more options to their moderation preferences, the blog post said.

“This will allow other organizations and people to run their own moderation services that can account for industry-specific knowledge or specific cultural norms, among other preferences,” the blog post said.

Labeling can help with things like fact-checking. For example, a fact-checking organization can use a labeling service and flag posts as “misleading” or “partially false.”

Although Bluesky was in development long before Elon Musk’s quest to purchase Twitter began, the site’s launch last year came as Musk was instituting a series of unpopular changes on the platform he would eventually rename “X.”

Once Bluesky began accepting members, it became seen as a Twitter alternative, like Threads and Mastodon before it.

In the case of Bluesky, users aren’t subject to the whims of an algorithm, as PYMNTS noted last year in a report on the rise of text-based social media platforms.

“Due to the backlash against the perceived algorithmic manipulation of people’s timelines, some people say they really just want a chronological feed of who they follow,” Bluesky wrote last year. “A feed of content from the people you follow ordered only by time is also an algorithm (albeit a very simple one).”