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Bluesky Nears 4 Million Users After Dropping Invite-Only Requirement

Social media app Bluesky has experienced a surge in popularity since its public launch, attracting nearly 800,000 new users in its first day open to the public.

This rapid growth is expected to push the total number of users to over 4 million Wednesday (Feb. 7), TechCrunch reported Wednesday.

The decentralized and open-source platform’s journey began with an invite-only beta phase last year, generating significant interest and even leading to invites being sold on eBay for $400, according to the report. It reached 3 million users last week.

While Bluesky’s user base is still smaller compared to its primary competitor, Mastodon, the growth of Mastodon over time serves as a testament to the potential success of Bluesky, the report said. Mastodon had around 400,000 users when Elon Musk acquired Twitter, now X, in October 2022, but it has now grown to 8.7 million users.

Both Bluesky and Mastodon attract users who seek alternatives to larger social media platforms like X and Instagram’s Threads, per the report.

Despite some technical challenges during its launch, such as user-generated algorithmic feeds not working overnight, Bluesky quickly addressed the issue, and the app is now functioning smoothly, the report said.

When announcing that it had dropped the invitation-only requirement and letting anyone who wants to join sign up, Bluesky also said in a Tuesday (Feb. 6) blog post that it plans to update its moderation services and release labeling services that let users add more options to their moderation preferences.

Bluesky also described features that make 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 post said. “And wherever you go, your friends and relationships can go with you.”

Platforms like Bluesky and Mastodon are tapping into demand for social interactions, including commerce, that are not centrally controlled as is the case with the major social media platform, PYMNTS reported in April.

Bluesky said in a March blog post: “Due to the backlash against the perceived algorithmic manipulation of people’s timelines, some people say they really just want a chronological of who they follow.”