Twitter Users are Flocking to Bluesky
Picture that icon of the little bluebird that represents Twitter. Now imagine a whole flock of these icons migrating from that social media site to a relatively new platform named Bluesky. And that is not just a metaphor. It’s happening. One-time Twitter devotees are flocking to Bluesky. Find out why.
Is the sky the limit for Bluesky?
It’s been quite a year for competition among social media platforms. Last month, Lemon8—a potential competitor to Instagram—topped the list of social app downloads. Similarly, Bluesky—challenger to Twitter—has become popular enough to warrant a waiting list where eager social users must sign up in order to join. (Significantly, as NBC News reported late last month, many of those on the waiting list were once very active on Twitter.) And, it’s no coincidence that Bluesky is actually very similar to Twitter. Why then, are so many users switching?
The journey from Twitter to Bluesky
According to the NBC News article, when Elon Musk bought Twitter last year—and from where he recently resigned as CEO—many bugs, glitches, and all too many changes accompanied the takeover. Collectively, these mishaps disappointed Twitter users enough that they chose to turn toward bluer skies (social media-wise). It is also worth noting that Jack Dorsey and Jay Graber, who were, respectively, the former CEO and a software engineer at Twitter, are currently working for Bluesky. So, it seems that the dislike for Musk and respect for Dorsey and appreciation of Graber’s skills combined to bring about this dramatic changeover from one platform to the other. (Side note: BBC News recently reported that Linda Yaccarino, former head of advertising at NBCUniversal, was taking on the task of overseeing business operations).
Similarities and differences between Twitter and Bluesky
The interface and overall look and operation of Bluesky is similar to Twitter. This probably appeals to users who wanted something different, but not to the point where they would need to get adjusted to an entirely new social media site. (In short, they wanted something that was “Twitter-like,” but not Twitter itself.) Both sites allow limited character counts, with Bluesky having a maximum of 300 per post. The posts that are known as “Tweets” on Twitter parallel to “Skeets” on Bluesky. While text and images may be posted and reposted on Bluesky, there are currently no video capabilities, and direct messaging is also not an option—yet.
An advantage to Bluesky
Perhaps the greatest—and most beneficial—difference between Twitter and Bluesky is privacy. While anything that gets posted to Twitter essentially becomes the property of that platform, Bluesky operates around a decentralized system. Users are able to store their individualized data (i.e., “Skeets”) on independent servers. Eventually, they will have the autonomy to create their own servers which can be used and shared with communities of their choice. This must be quite a plus among one-time Twitter users. A recent article in RockContent predicts that by next year, approximately 32 million Twitter users will switch over to Bluesky.
A disadvantage to Bluesky
Jay Graber, the former Twitter software engineer who is now at Bluesky, writes that she and her team are on a mission to “finish pieces that we believe to be critical,” such as content moderation. Especially critical is the need for a verification process, as there has been an influx of impersonators. (The waiting list has opened up recently, and thousands of invitations to join Bluesky have been deployed, which makes the necessity to monitor and eliminate imposters and fake profiles crucial.) So, while Bluesky may be the social media star of the moment, like everything else, it is not perfect, and bugs in its system need to be worked out.
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