For the past week I’ve been road-testing Bluesky the decentralised social media platform with a little bit of a twist fronted by Jay Graber and not, as widely touted, ex Twitter frontman, Jack Dorsey. Yes Jack is a big backer but the ex bird app CEO. headcook and bottlewasher is not driving this Twitter alternative.
The web. Email. RSS feeds. XMPP chats. What all these technologies had in common is they allowed people to freely interact and create content, without a single intermediary.
BlueSky are building the AT Protocol, a new foundation for social networking which gives creators independence from platforms, developers the freedom to build, and users a choice in their experience. This in their own words is Bluesky’s ambitious vision of the future putting you the user back in control.
For instance I own the whoatv.com domain so my handle over at Bluesky could be @whoatv.com if I wished and it could replace my current michaelmorgan.bsky.social handle. You basically take your current IP with you if you’re that precious about it. I’m not so I’ve kept my handle aligned to Bluesky.
Admittedly Bluesky is in beta so to set up an account you need to be invited which, I can’t lie gives it an exclusive pretentious air to it. It’s like a cool frat club with ‘bitch you’re not invited’ vibes. There is no direct messaging, no gifs, no video and no audio. Saying that though in development is a Twitter Spaces alternative which I’ve had a play with. The audio is smooth but it’s a little glitchy, which is to be expected at this stage of development.
Sign up, changing your handle to reflect you and getting follows are all super easy. The vibe over there is super chilled and everybody wants to help you navigate what essentially on the face of it is familiar ground. Starting with an app even whilst in beta is a masterstroke in feeding anticipation and after two weeks on the app I’m told I will be issued some golden tickets to grant others access to the new chocolate factory
The traction. It’s a lil dead and you are mostly shouting into the canyon that is Bluesky and having your own post come back and smack you around the chops unanswered. Hashtags are non existent so it’s easy to see how you can miss conversations or get involved in them.
There are some pretty high profile users on there, DC’s James Gunn being one of them, but with no blue tick verification you have to take a real leap of faith that the celebs being added are who they say they are.
The familiar features that you have come to rely on as standard are missing ie posting a link to a news item and to have it not render with a picture for example is a little disconcerting. Yes there are ways around this but you have to work a lil harder than you do on say it’s nearest newbie competitor Spoutible.
I’ve a feeling big things are coming down the track for this app, it’s got a great vibe about it and none of the existing users have carried over the trauma or toxicity of Twitter. The security protocols are pretty tight and easy for you to configure. Whether it will be quite the Twitter killer remains to be seen, however, I’m excited to see where it goes as the chatter from the developers on the app is that they haven’t even started yet.
This article was originally published on www.whoatv.com