The social media platform cosplaying as a decentralized social network, Bluesky, has hit a major milestone this week. The baby brother to Twitter has announced that they hit over 2 million users. This happened just two months after hitting one million. This sounds like a big deal since the platform is still invite-only.
With that announcement, they are finally making plans to add a public web interface. This would allow visitors to see content without needing an account to do so. It is scheduled to be available “around the end of this month” according to its blog post.
Bluesky is going to attempt federation early next year. While they have been advertising themselves as a decentralized platform, the only server anyone could use was Bluesky’s. They will be using their own AT Protocol for this. That protocol is, as far as I understand, not compatible with the ActivityPub protocol. The ActivityPub protocol is what is being used on Mastodon, Peertube, Pixelfed, Calckey, Misskey, Firefish, and so many other platforms.
It will be interesting to see how they manage federation on AT Protocol and how easy it will be to stand up a server. I feel that in order for a truly decentralized platform to exist, it has to be easy for people for enough people to deploy it themselves. Not necessarily everyone, but enough skilled users to help facilitate others.
On top of that, it would be interesting to see how the users will fluctuate once federation starts. Will people leave Bluesky in droves to join other servers? How will the moderation hold up in these first days?
Also, how much of Jack Dorsey will be in the protocol itself, pulling strings? I mean, he’s no Elon Musk, but I’d like tech bros not to be all up in my tech.
Source: The Verge