Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, or X as it’s now called, a number of new social media apps have either come into the limelight or been developed to capture the users that have been leaving. Although the flood of users leaving has slowed to a trickle with several new initiatives from the platform, several Twitter alternatives have been developed.

Among them is Bluesky, which is a decentralized, invite-only social network built on an open-source protocol  (I’ll explain what this means even though I barely understand it myself). It’s one of the most popular alternatives and hit 1 million users in September 2023.

What is Bluesky?

Bluesky is a decentralized social network created by Jack Dorsey, the former Twitter CEO who started it while still in the role. Its decentralized nature comes from the AT Protocol, developed by the Bluesky team, and provides transparency into how the app was built and works. Early and frequent users include author Neil Gaiman and US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Users select a username to use Bluesky, shown as “@username.bsky.social” (I snagged @tami.bsky.social). You can also turn a domain name into your username, a feature “ allowing users to self-verify and own their username across the network,” according to the platform.

Bluesky is very much like Twitter – you can click a Post symbol to write and share 300 characters and include photos. Users can reply, repost, and like posts. You can also indicate the language of your post and highlight if any of your attached images are adult-only.

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