Bluesky, the decentralized social media platform, has decided to remove its invite-only sign-up system and open its doors to all interested users.
What Happened: Bluesky, a decentralized social media platform that initially gained popularity with its closed beta, is now allowing anyone to sign up, reported The Verge on Tuesday. The company, which has seen over 3 million sign-ups since its launch, is also planning to allow external developers to host their own servers on its AT Protocol, which aims to rival ActivityPub.
CEO Jay Graber stated that the company needed to strengthen its moderation features and stabilize its infrastructure before moving out of the closed beta. The platform, which is set up as a public benefit operation, has just under 40 full-time employees, half of whom work on moderation and user support.
Graber also revealed that Bluesky has 1.6 million monthly users and 25,000 custom feeds, a unique feature of the AT Protocol. The company plans to make money through various means, including charging users for additional features and taking a cut of purchases for things like custom feeds that developers will be able to charge for. Bluesky also plans to develop a Cloudflare-like enterprise arm to help others manage their own servers on the AT Protocol.
Graber acknowledged that it isn’t sustainable for Bluesky to control the AT Protocol long-term if it’s going to be a platform for other companies to build on. The plan is to eventually hand over control to a web standards body like the Internet Engineering Task Force.
Why It Matters: Bluesky’s decision to open up its platform and introduce the AT Protocol is a significant development in the social media industry. The platform, which has been evolving since its rebranding and public post-viewing feature, is now poised to challenge Meta’s Threads and other decentralized social media platforms.
Bluesky’s move comes at a time when user engagement on platforms like Meta Platforms Inc.’s Threads and Elon Musk‘s X is declining. This shift in user behavior could potentially benefit Bluesky, which has been backed by Jack Dorsey and is seen as a potential competitor to X.
Bluesky’s decision to introduce the AT Protocol and allow third-party developers to host their servers is a significant move that could potentially disrupt the current social media landscape, particularly in light of the ongoing changes in the industry.
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