Twitter’s decentralized alternative Bluesky arrives as an invite-only iOS app
Bluesky, the decentralized project that originated within Twitter, has arrived on the Apple App Store as an invite-only social network, as first reported by TechCrunch. The listing also gives us one of our very first glimpses at the app, which closely resembles Twitter down to the timeline and profile pages.
The project’s backed by Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, and has been working on an app powered by its open-source social protocol for months now, called the Authenticated Transfer Protocol, or “AT Protocol” for short. Bluesky describes it as a “federated social network” where separate networks exist within a single hub.
According to Bluesky, AT Protocol is built based on four main ideals: account portability; algorithmic; performance; and interoperability. This framework is supposed to allow you to easily transfer your account data to another Bluesky provider as well as give you more control over what you see on a network, among other things.
While Bluesky initially made the app available in a private beta for developers in October, it appears the company’s willing to expand the test just a bit more now that it’s on the App Store. The website doesn’t offer any details about when the app could become available to the general public or how many testers are allowed to use the app, but it lets users join a waitlist for access.
The project’s origins within Twitter raised concerns about what would become of Bluesky following Elon Musk’s takeover, as it relied on the social network for funding. However, last year, Bluesky spun off as a separate company, noting that “independence is important to the success of the project,” and added Dorsey to its board.
Judging by the screenshots posted on the App Store and the ones included in TechCrunch’s article as part of a hands-on experience, Bluesky looks promising so far, featuring separate tabs for home, search, and notifications in addition to a Twitter-like “repost” ability. We don’t know when (or if) Bluesky will come to Android, but I sure hope it does. With more Twitter alternatives like Bluesky, Mastodon, and Hive gaining traction, it almost feels like the golden age of social networks again.