What is Bluesky?
Bluesky may resemble Twitter at first glance, with users being able to post up to 300-character messages and toggle between an algorithmic feed and chronological feed. But Bluesky stands apart by being decentralized compared to Mastodon which requires joining servers, giving a similar experience like Reddit but allows users to create their own using AT Protocol technology.
This flexibility gives users the power to craft their experience and create a safe haven from toxic communities; however, this also poses the risk of various servers having divergent content moderation policies that allow misinformation or harmful narratives to spread freely across servers. Furthermore, lack of clarity regarding how data will be managed and shared may raise privacy-related concerns among privacy-sensitive users.
Bluesky has managed to form an engaged community and gain traction much faster than many Twitter alternatives, including Meta’s Threads and Elon Musk’s Mastodon. Furthermore, its new features – such as an easier user experience and being able to view muted or blocked accounts – has allowed it to address problems faster.
When users encounter posts they find offensive or harmful, they can use the ellipsis menu to either mutes the account responsible or report the content directly to Bluesky – who will review and take appropriate actions as required. Furthermore, Bluesky announced in their blog post that they have added a feature to allow users to easily block content they don’t want appearing in their feeds by means of “hide post.”
Bluesky still has some way to go before being ready for public consumption, but its 3.5 out of 5 rating on the App Store suggests it has made a good start. Some users have likened its initial user base and structure to that of early Twitter – with famous people tweeting accounts with less-than-famous names and silly memes sharing among serious news updates.
What can I do with Bluesky?
Bluesky is decentralized, so users may create accounts on multiple instances and transfer posts between servers at will. I recommend creating your account with either your real name (or one that will be recognized) and filling out your bio with links leading back to more of your work.
Bluesky also recently implemented an in-app video and music player, as well as a “hide post” feature, allowing you to temporarily hide content from your feeds without completely erasing it from view.
Bluesky offers several kidlit Custom Feeds, such as Greg Pincus’ #KidLitChat and Kate Messner’s KidLit Community.
How does Bluesky work?
Bluesky is a decentralized social media platform with similar aesthetic and functionality to Twitter, operating independently from larger entities to ensure it does not compromise user privacy and freedoms. Account portability also is available, enabling users to move between servers while keeping all posts and followers intact – essential features for reducing platform lock-in and maintaining user freedom.
Bluesky offers an intuitive, clean interface, with a feed of all recent posts and categories that can be used to filter or display content. Settings and account features such as content filters, muzzling accounts/pages/accounts, viewing muted/blocked accounts are easily accessed via its menu icon in the top-right corner. Bluesky was built to provide maximum safety and prevent harassment or bullying through community moderation efforts.
As with any new platform, Bluesky is still working out some kinks in its service and may experience bugs or downtime at times. Furthermore, lack of clarity surrounding data privacy and moderation policies may be upsetting to some users; an incident in which users complained that Bluesky refused to ban users with racist usernames caused widespread outrage among their members.
Bluesky offers those interested in trying it a free account on its website, where previously this decentralized social network was invite-only but now no longer requires this qualification to use. Furthermore, iOS and Android applications provide access to this service.