Decentralised rival service to Twitter known as Bluesky, backed by Jack Dorsey, has now launched an Android app
The arrival of the Bluesky decentralised social network, backed in part by Twitter’s co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, has moved one step closer.
After stepping down as Twitter CEO in November 2021, and then leaving Twitter altogether in May 2022, Dorsey has reportedly been working on Bluesky – a new decentralised social network that could compete with Twitter.
In February this year the Bluesky app was officially made available in the Apple iOS App Store as a private beta, meaning it could only be downloaded by people who had been invited to use it.
Bluesky Android app
Now this week, the Bluesky app has been made available for download on the Google Play store for Android users.
But once again, in order to gain access a user will either need to join the waitlist (via website) or get an invite code from a friend.
Bluesky’s official website does not provide a lot of details about the service. Indeed, the only thing users can do is enter their email address in a waiting list to get an invitation.
However images posted on the two major app stores suggest that Bluesky user interface is essentially a simplified version of Twitter – and is thought to currently have a community of just 25,000 people.
There are said to be three different tabs for the timeline, search, and notifications. At the same time, there is also a side menu with quick access to the user profile and app settings.
The interactions are also apparently very similar to that of Twitter.
But under the bonnet Bluesky is said to be based on the open source Authenticated Transfer (AT) protocol, which is similar to ActivityPub, the decentralised protocol that powers Mastodon.
Bluesky actually began life back in December 2019 when then Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey first announced the Bluesky initiative on Twitter.
Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard. 🧵
— jack (@jack) December 11, 2019
The Bluesky initiative operated independently of Twitter, despite being funded by Twitter.
In another strange twist of fate, Twitter’s then Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal (later CEO of Twitter) was the initial manager of Bluesky, and was involved in inviting initial working group members in early 2020.
I’m incredibly excited for Twitter to kick off @bluesky, a new independent effort to develop a decentralized standard for social media. Please see @jack’s thread for more context. I have the privilege of finding a lead for this team. https://t.co/KvpYe7ptXh
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) December 11, 2019
Bluesky was formally incorporated in late 2021 as a public benefit LLC, with Dorsey on its board of directors.