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Decentralised Twitter spin-off Bluesky is now in Beta

The long-awaited app is now in beta while developers finalise the moderation system.

Bluesky, the decentralised social media protocol co-founded by Jack Dorsey, is officially in its beta testing phase. Users can now preview the app on the app store and can join a waiting list to gain access to the app before it goes public.

A quick look at the app preview reveals a platform that’s similar to Twitter. It has a ‘home’ tab, search options, profile displays and reposting buttons. 

The Bluesky initiative was first announced by Dorsey in 2019. It was incubated by Twitter and formally incorporated as a public benefit LLC in 2021 with Jay Graber as CEO. Dorsey remains on the board of directors.  

As a decentralised platform, Bluesky seeks to create a system that is not controlled by a single company or entity, but is built on open standards and protocols that anyone can use and contribute to. 

The key difference between Twitter and Bluesky is its protocol. 

The Bluesky protocol – known as the AT Protocol (formerly the Authenticated Data Experiment) – makes the platform a ‘federated’ social network. A federated social network is a type of decentralized social network in which different servers or instances communicate with each other to form a larger network, like email. The AT Protocol enables an open, decentralized social network that is interoperable across different platforms and allows users to control their own data.

It aims to improve user performance and give users better control over their algorithms.

The extent to which Elon Musks’ takeover of Twitter will impact Bluesky is unclear. While Bluesky received $13 million from Twitter in April 2022, some have expressed concern that volatile executive staff departures may leave the platform vulnerable in the long run. 

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