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Decentralized Twitter spin-off Bluesky is available on App Store as beta

The Twitter founder is behind the federated spin-off Bluesky, which is now on the App Store, but users need to be invited to try the beta.

Bluesky, a competitor to Twitter, has started rolling out to users in private beta mode. This is the first time the Jack Dorsey-backed decentralized social network has been shown to the public.

Users can now get the Bluesky app from Apple’s app store, but to create an account, they need an invitation code.

“We really are still in beta, but DM me if you want an invite!” wrote the project’s CEO Jay Graber.

The project was started within Twitter, but in 2019, it became its own organization. When it became a public benefit LLC in 2021, Jack Dorsey, who used to run Twitter, was on the board.

The interface looks like Twitter in the previews on the app store. It has tabs for home, search, and notification, and each user’s profile shows how many people they follow and who follows them. Users can share the content of other people by reposting it, which is similar to retweeting.

But the app’s developers say that what makes it different is its protocol.

A blog post from October says that the AT Protocol, also known as the Authenticated Transfer Protocol, is a federated social network. This means that a lot of sites run the network, and businesses and people can choose to host themselves if they want to.

At the time, Bluesky said this would let devices talk to each other, accounts would be easy to move, and open algorithms would give users more control over what they see.

The Bluesky app is the first to be built on top of the protocol. Its developers said last year that it would be “a portal to the world of possibility on top of the AT Protocol.”

connection with Twitter

After Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter was made public for the first time in April of last year, Bluesky stated that it was an independent initiative owned by its own employees, with Twitter holding no controlling interest.

“Twitter’s funding of Bluesky is not subject to any conditions except one: that Bluesky is to research and develop technologies that enable open and decentralized public conversation,” the organization tweeted at the time.

The Bluesky app goes live about a month after Nostr’s first app, Damus, which was also backed by Dorsey. The app is one of a number of projects being built on Nostr, an open-source protocol based on cryptographic keypairs.

The Damus app was quickly banned in China, but this only highlighted the appeal of protocols for advocates of free expression such as Dorsey, as the Nostr protocol itself cannot be censored.

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About Tina

Decentralized Twitter spin-off Bluesky is available on App Store as betaTina concentrates on all matters related to NFT and Web3. Tina uses social media to spot NFT trends and report unique news.

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