Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is set to launch a new social app dubbed Bluesky to revolutionize the dynamics dominating social media platforms. The primary element he seeks to address is monetization through centralization and data sharing., among others.
“Bluesky wants to build a ‘social internet’ and help users avoid data silos that commonly exist across internet applications.”
The first mention of a Dorsey-owned decentralized standard for social media was in December 2019, when Dorsey announced that Twitter was funding a team to develop the platform. The first iteration of the protocol was ADX, released in the spring of 2022 before its design was improved and simplified over the summer. According to a Twitter thread by Bluesky, the start-up is:
“… building a social protocol. We released “ADX” (the X stood for Experiment) in May. Now that the design is solidifying, we’re renaming it to the ‘Authenticated Transport Protocol’ — the AT Protocol.”
Now, Bluesky is ready and accepting users for its beta testing phase, whose identities will be handled by domain names based on the AT protocol like ‘@alice.com’, meaning that the title would be mapped to cryptographic URLs for users’ account and data security.
Bluesky is currently welcoming users to register for its beta testing phase. Upon this invitation, the application received up to 30,000 signups within the first 48 hours of the waitlist debut, which is evidence of anticipation by the market to see what Dorsey will deliver after Twitter.
“Wow. 30k sign-ups for our app’s waiting list in the last two days! Thanks for the overwhelming interest; we’ll do our best to get you in soon.”
According to the company’s official blog, the choice to call the app “Bluesky” sprung from the creators’ intention to communicate a wide-open space of possibility. Reportedly, Bluesky will provide a portal to the world of opportunity atop the AT protocol.
Bluesky Will Not Run On Blockchain
With Dorsey’s new venture, crypto hobbyists are surprised by the fact that Bluesky will not run on Blockchain, as confirmed by the project head Jay Graber in a tweet published on 20 October hinting that the protocol will not rely on a web3 solution and is “Blockchain optional and Blockchain agnostic. Jay also added,
“I’m confident in our decision not to put social media content on a blockchain.”
Bluesky will use the AT protocol, a new federated social network integrating concepts from innovative decentralized technologies to deliver a simple, fast, and open web. In its working mechanism, the protocol operates via a network of federated data repositories. The data will be coordinated to enable inter-repository exchange through the same language. Users will enjoy access to all the social media platforms that use the protocol simply by logging into a single account.
Bluesky stands among the many social media protocols powered by the AT Protocol. The project is expected to share the market and compete with rival apps like Twitter, Snapchat, and Meta’s Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. On this, Dorsey expressed concerns about how centralized, traditional social media platforms are saying:
“…the platform will be a competitor to any company trying to own the underlying fundamentals for social media or the data of the people using it.”
Also, industry experts speculate the possibility of rival platforms adopting the technology should users push for it. Nevertheless, Dorsey articulated his hope that Twitter would eventually be a client of the same standard.
It remains unclear, however, how Dorsey’s new social media app will generate an income from its operations, although rumor has it that Bluesky will leverage subscriptions in monetizing its user base. Industry pundits have extrapolated past conversations between Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk on the Twitter acquisition and concluded that possible revenue streams for the new app might involve facilitating user payments.
Bluesky users will enjoy other privileges from the algorithm that powers the app’s operations, including content moderation and timeline display schemes. According to the announcement, this will help users understand how to use the platform. Moreover, users acquainted with programming skills can alter the algorithm to suit their style. With this, we expect that the platform will oversee all activities related to content moderation, not leaving it to users.
Interested persons can join the Bluesky private beta whitelist to be part of the project’s testing phase that will identify and iron out issues before the official open Beta stage. It is imperative to note that while the team developing Bluesky and its AT Protocol was set up and funded by Twitter in 2019, the app is not Twitter-owned.