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Bluesky thinking: will Jack Dorsey’s new venture replace Twitter?

By Caroline Gosney, Content director

Make Honey


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May 4, 2023 | 6 min read

Bluesky is the new kid on the block, but could it really replace the bird app? Caroline Gosney of Make Honey investigates.

Troll crossing road sign

/ Mark Konig

A new social media platform has taken root and, surprise, surprise, Jack Dorsey (of Twitter fame after he sold the whole thing to Elon Musk) is back. Ever since Musk took over Twitter, users of the platform who struggled to reconcile what the little blue bird stands for under its new owner have looked for an alternative and Dorsey has provided one.

*Sips tea* this is god-tier trolling.

Bluesky is a Twitter lookalike backed by Dorsey that has rapidly gained traction in the past few months billing itself as an alternative to the chaos of Musk’s Twitter. Right now, it’s invite-only and people are literally begging for invites especially as there is no rhyme or reason as to how you get off the waiting list and onto the platform.

It’s the online version of a German trance club; look the part, or don’t come in. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Chrissy Teigen, and journalists from the very anti-Twitter New York Times are a few of the names who’ve had the nod.

As a social network, it offers many of the same features that Twitter does. Users can post short text updates, add imagery, and reply to and share content, but there’s a big difference. Bluesky has been built with a decentralized system at its core that will allow users to build their own apps and communities within it. What this means in practice, is that no one individual can create rules for the entire Bluesky community. Are you listening, Elon?

The story so far

The platform, which is still in beta mode, is small compared with social media giants such as Twitter and Meta, with about 50,000 users to date. But, visits to the desktop and mobile app rose to nearly 1.5m globally in April, up from less than 300,000 in March, and about 15,000 in February. Most recently, the term Bluesky began trending on Twitter itself. Again, god-tier trolling.

But like all shiny new things, there are teething problems. There’s been a big influx of people who want to jump ship from Twitter to a viable alternative but there is no verification process in place on Bluesky as of yet. Can you guess what that means? Yep, troll accounts are back.

So far, J.K Rowling and, er, Elon Musk have appeared on the platform. It’s also missing basic features like video uploads and the ability to DM, but for the most part, users seem to love it.

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Twitter resurgence?

Skeets (a combination of sky and tweet) has been coined as the delivery mechanism for content and Bluesky feels like Twitter used to, which is all anyone ever wanted anyway.

It’s also a place where there’s zero tolerance for harassment (paging Elon) which is the other thing bluebird users wanted (well, apart from an edit button, but I’ve given up on that particular fight).

Basically, it seems like Bluesky has paired back to the way social media used to be before Cambridge Analytica and Covid deniers. Remember those halcyon days? Why wouldn’t you want to go back?

Right now, there’s no natural palace for brands as the invite-only mechanism means the community is too small to support ad spend. There’s also a chance that Bluesky will try and function without advertising, becoming a platform that is just a community functioning as a community without promoted posts or paid for trends – I imagine that would make it even more popular.

But, realistically will Bluesky replace Twitter? It’s still in its infancy and would need to roll out way faster to have a chance. But an alternative to Musk’s conspiracy theorist approach has got to be welcome, right?

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Make Honey

Make Honey is an award-winning communications agency that creates impact for brands. Our clients cut through the media maelstrom and secure sales through PR, content...

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