A decentralised social media firm backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has emerged as a potential replacement for the platform which has been shrouded in controversy since Elon Musk’s takeover last year.
BlueSky is a decentralised version of a social media platform, with user data kept on independent servers rather than being owned by one company.
In the future, users of the platform will be able to use their own servers with customised algorithms using the BlueSky technology.
BlueSky looks virtually identical to Twitter, which is unsurprising given the idea originated at the social media giant in 2019, when it funded research into a decentralised version of its own platform.
While Twitter has invested in BlueSky, it became a public benefit company in 2022, with Dorsey remaining on its board.
The aim was to “build a protocol that would turn the fundamental functions of social media into basic infrastructure like the web itself”.
The platform launched a public beta in February but buzz around BlueSky has kicked off properly in recent weeks, with a number of significant Twitter users signing up. The likes of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Chrissy Teigen, Dril and a number of prominent journalists have launched BlueSky accounts in recent days.
The platform is currently invite-only.
BlueSky CEO Jay Graber said in March that the goal is to build a protocol that would “turn the fundamental functions of social media into basic infrastructure like the web itself”.
“We believe decentralisation is a means to an end,” Graber said.
“The end goal is to provide choice to users, freedom to developers and control to creators.”
On BlueSky, users can post up to 300 characters in one go, and can post photos but not videos currently.
They can also follow other users, repost their content and pick between an algorithm-based feed and a chronological one.
There is currently just one main BlueSky server, but the aim is eventually for users to be able to customise their own algorithms and feed on their own specific servers.
Dorsey, who stepped down as Twitter boss in 2021, took to the new BlueSky platform to criticise Musk’s handling of the platform since he bought it for $US44 billion last year.
Asked by a user whether Musk is the right person to lead Twitter, Dorsey replied simply “no”.
“Nor do I think he acted right after realising his timing was bad,” Dorsey posted.
“Nor do I think the board should have forced the sale. It all went south. But it happened and all we can do now is build something to avoid that ever happening again.”
After initially agreeing to pay $US54.20 a share for Twitter early last year, the company’s stock price plummeted, and the board tried to force Musk to comply with the deal.
It was eventually closed for $US44 billion in November, with Musk taking over as CEO.
Dorsey said that neither party should have gone through with the deal.
“Every company is for sale to the highest bidder,” he posted.
“Was I optimistic? Yes. Did I have the final say? No. I wish the board would not have forced the sale. Maybe there was a chance, but now we’ll never know. I think he should have walked away and paid the $1 billion [to break the deal].”