Bluesky is finally open to everyone. But will anyone come? We ask its CEO.

Graber is “optimistic about human potential, even though I’m realistic about human nature.” When Bluesky launched last year, it filled a gap that was desperately needed by people who were looking for alternatives to X, as it seemed like the ship formerly known as Twitter was possibly sinking. (Against all odds, it hasn’t yet.)

Bluesky wasn’t as confusing as Mastodon and wasn’t owned by Meta like Threads. Bluesky looks and feels much like Old Twitter.

There was only one snag: It was available as a beta launch, only with an invite code, which was initially so hard to obtain that even Joe Biden couldn’t get one. Starting Tuesday, Bluesky is finally out of “beta” and will be open to anyone — no codes needed.

Like Mastodon and Threads, Bluesky is an experiment in a new, “decentralized” way of running a social app, where users can create their own communities and moderation rules. (Bluesky also has its own moderation team.)

Jack Dorsey was involved in creating Bluesky while he was still at Twitter and now sits on its board. It’s organized as a public benefit corporation.

Ultimately, it may not be a winner-takes-all competition between these X alternatives; the new approach to social may be to exist happily in smaller pockets without needing massive scale to survive. (Although Meta certainly would love to win the battle with Threads.)

More here -…

downpunxx avatar

Imagine after the Twitter debacle, choosing to give a mewling quim like JACK access to your data ever again, lol

PanArab, avatar

For whatever reason it has been more successful attracting Arabic speakers than the fediverse.


I’d wager invite-only versus network effect. Early adopters have more opportunity to shape the emerging community. There was no rush of standard American dorks to homogenize the place.

_haha_oh_wow_, avatar

I think I’ll stick with Lemmy, Kbin, and a bit of reddit, never cared for the Twitter/Mastodon/Bluesky style of website


Reddit is so shitty to use. My desktop doesn’t get to because it says they don’t allow VPN. Which I don’t have on. I think there’s an option to make an account to get access…

And the website on mobile is so slow and unintuitive.

Every search I used to make was with but I just stopped because I can’t make it in the site.

I didn’t expect it to get that bad.

_haha_oh_wow_, avatar

I see no reason to expect it to get any better.


Bluesky wasn’t as confusing as Mastodon

I’m so tired of this bullshit. I went to the; clicked the big button labeled “create an account”; read and accepted the rules; filled out a form asking for my email address, a username and password; confirmed my email; and could immediately post.

How the fuck is that confusing, that’s standard fucking practice. Jesus fucked on a pike.


It wasn’t a {Join with Facebook]or a {Join with Google] button


I don’t get Mastodon


It’s like if Twitter, Threads, and Bluesky all were the same behind the scenes and gave you access to read the posts and follower the on the other sites. “Mastodon” is just the collective term for all those sites that are linked together.

Also you can have a lot more control over what you see and who you interact with, but you don’t have to if you just want to login and look at memes. You can also run your own site ti have even more control, but, once again, you don’t have to.

If you mean you just don’t get the appeal of the “microblogging” format, or the culture that arose online surrounding it, I can’t explain that. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea.


I’m the opposite though. I could create an account but I still don’t understand how to be logged into other mastodon instances automatically and follow content

sxan, avatar

You don’t get logged in to other accounts. Just follow people at their address, like you’d send an email. The server does the rest.

If your question is about finding people to follow, that’s another matter. Folks on other instances won’t show up in your searches unless someone on your instance already follows them. For popular people, that’s usually no problem. For others, you might get their address from their web page. In any case, once you have their address, you just… follow them. No matter where they are, follow them from your instance and it just works. You don’t have to “log in” anywhere else; that’s the “federated” part of the fediverse.

What’s most fantastic about it is that you can often follow accounts on entirely different platforms. How well this works depends on how well the platform supports the AP protocol, and fundamental models of data. But you can easily follow PixelFed accounts from a Mastodon account, and it works pretty well. It’s as if you could follow Instagram accounts from your Twitter account; that’s the killer feature of the Fediverse, IMO. Discovery is still clunky, and how these things interoperate in “World” can be kludgy. But the possibilities are really very revolutionary.


Thx for the very clear explanation


Federation of a service is confusing because it is a difficult problem to conceptualize. There’s no way to easily explain how to use federated services to non techies.

For me? That’s fine. I can use federated stuff.

For my mom? Nope. But she needs to get off the internet in general so that’s probably a bad example.


I mean, that’s fair, but it’s not relevant to usage. I go to, I sign up, I use. At no point is the concept of federation necessary in that process, that’s for the owners/operators/maintainers to figure out.

If people want to know more, they will seek out that arcane knowledge, but it’s not something someone who’s just there to satisfy their FOMO ever needs to know.


It’s true. And people try to jump on to similar things. “It’s just like how email works!”, or “It’s just like how international phone calls work!”

Yeah, nobody has any clue how those two things work, either.

HKayn, avatar

Maybe ask the people what they find confusing about Mastodon, and listen.

I’ll give you example. Say I want to sign up , but has currently closed sign-ups. People tell me I can just sign up on any instance, but there’s dozens of them and they all appear to be the same. As someone who’s not familiar with federated services, I don’t know what to base my instance decision on.

How would you help me overcome this choice paralysis?

BaumGeist, (edited )

As someone who’s not familiar with federated services, I don’t know what to base my instance decision on.

As I said elsewhere, many people just want a place they can go to share memes, news, opinions and misinformation. But on the other hand, there are plenty affiliated with interests/hobbies/identities/ideologies where you can to share topical memes, topical news, topical opinions, and misinformation (as long as it’s on topic).

Snark aside, I’m on two instances: one for socializing, and another for my interest in cybersecurity. So I’d start with: do you want an experience that’s more typical of social media with a more general pool of people, or do you want to focus on a specific interest but with the understanding that entails a smaller userbase and a slower feed?

If the latter sounds best to you, what communities do you find yourself most active in on other platforms (e.g. reddit, lemmy, facebook, twitter)? If not, we can find a relatively well-populated instance that’s likely to have staying power.

Spedwell, (edited )

Additionally, there’s the usability hurdle of interacting with non-home instances from outside mastodon. If I pull up someone’s blog and click the little mastodon social media icon, it may very well link to If my home instance is, now I have to launch into my own server, search up the account, and then begin interacting.

It’s trivial to do but it is an extra step, but for your less-tech-literate friends and family it can be a point of confusion. Mastodon handles federation great in-ecosystem, but the broader web is still going to treat each instance as a different site.

0x1C3B00DA avatar

Most people are pointed to first and have to pick an instance. And since they're not familiar with decentralization, they don't understand what that means. It's especially weird that they can't directly join mastodon on the site called "joinmastodon" but have to go to another site.

Then once you get past that to make an account, you have to find people and discovery has always been one of the worst aspects of the fediverse. And the graph of instance blocks means a new user may not even be able to find the people they care about and they won't know why.

If you know all this, its easy to understand. But for people used to a centralized system and unaware of all the intricacies of the network, there's a lot of snags here.

p03locke, avatar

you have to find people and discovery has always been one of the worst aspects of the fediverse.

How is this different than Twitter?

0x1C3B00DA avatar

If you know the person's twitter handle, its simple to search for them. People coming from centralized systems, don't realize that you have to include the domain for fediverse searches to work. I couldn't just find you by searching for p03locke, I'd have to search for

Also, if my instance has never interacted with you, your profile probably won't show posts when I find you (though this is a choice and I don't know why implementations won't fix it.)

Again, instance blocks makes this more complicated because my instance could block yours or yours could block mine and that would prevent this search from working but the user wouldn't know that.


I couldn’t just find you by searching for p03locke, I’d have to search for @p03locke.

I literally just searched “p03locke” from and found them in one step.

0x1C3B00DA avatar

If your instance is already aware of that user, you don't need the domain. is the oldest mastodon instance and probably the biggest, so it is aware of a large majority of the fediverse.


I just logged in to two smaller instances where I have accounts, and I found them in one step and I could see their posts and replies on both of them.

0x1C3B00DA avatar

Again, both of those are older, more established instances so its more likely they are already aware of any given user.

And a lemmy user probably isn't the best test for this, because of how lemmy works. If anybody on the instances follows a lemmy community, all posts and comments in that community will make it to the instance. Which means lemmy users are probably spread around the fediverse more than users of other software.


Yep exactly this. I’m pretty tech oriented and even I was confused about the concept of instances at first.


Your point about Joinmastodon is too true. It’s a terrible starting point for someone who just wants to test the waters: “I have to learn about an entirely new type of digital networking AND commit to an instance? I bet Bluesky doesn’t have all these layers of obfuscation.”

It would be easier if the community would just agree that there is a default instance with open enrollment—preferably the biggest and mosy popular, or at least one that’s maintained by a group with staying power—and just send all the newbies there. If they want to dig deeper, nothing’s stopping them, but that way their first impression isn’t analysis paralysis.

To your other points:

  1. for discovery, there are the usual methods: trending, hashtags, the search, and people sharing their usernames elsewhere.
  2. I assume that people who are making the hard decision to leave the site where they know all the people they want to follow already are, are also prepared to accept some amount of loss to that pool. It happens all the same whether it’s Threads or Mastodon

We don’t actually need to use that, but creating an account is free. Let’s fill up the namespace

DarthYoshiBoy avatar

For everyone wondering why anyone would use Bluesky when Mastodon and/or the Fediverse is around.

I have to ask why not use both? All the tech people I followed on Twitter went to Mastodon almost immediately when Musk bought the site, while most of my personal friends on Twitter were not willing to leave because they thought Mastodon was too techy and Bluesky couldn't replicate the network of people they valued from Twitter. That said, slowly over time as the invites came rolling in for Bluesky, my personal friend circle has been willing to move to Bluesky while they still wont touch Mastodon and honestly it hasn't harmed me in the least to use both. It's actually sorta nice to have the tech stuff in a separate bucket from my personal connections.

I'm not super hopeful that the AT protocol ever expands beyond the single site it is now, but I will be fully happy to launch my own instance and keep my personal contacts if that day ever comes, and if it doesn't, I've still got Mastodon to fall back to where I'm pretty happily established but for the lack of the people I know IRL.


I’m still hoping that ATProto will one day federate natively with ActivityPub. It’s very possible, and there are already relays doing it.

otl, avatar

@DarthYoshiBoy @dez It shouldn't matter: thankfully both ActivityPub and AT protocol have open source implementations, so we can have ways for it to work together.

I think we have had so many years of app == platform == protocol that we've forgotten what interoperability really means and looks like. Even the distinction between Lemmy/Mastodon/Kbin et al. feels like a holdover from those times.


I’m on the other side, why use either? Microblogging seems quite dated and the format is not conducive to conversation. I prefer Lemmy style posts and comments to microblogging.

Let’s not even get started on how stupid people sound when they talk about skeets and toots.

Ferk, (edited ) avatar


I don’t understand the appeal of microblogging. The content is generally very low quality, the signal-to-noise ratio is horrible… I’m not interested in the shower thoughts of any particular individual …or in marketing stunts.

The only individuals I’m interested on are my family & friends, and even for them I’d rather use a more private platform.

And when I want to read a public post I’d rather it’s well thought and ideally not restricted by micro-limitations. Even better if it’s curated by a public voting process among a community of people with my same interests, or some other process that makes it so I don’t have to waste my time going through tons of content I’m not remotelly interested on.

DarthYoshiBoy avatar

I’m on the other side, why use either?

Microblogging is a great format for following creators. I don't need your life story to know that you've got a new album, a new software release, a new security vulnerability, a new video, a new tour, or a new comic. The shortform communication forced by Mastodon or Bluesky is perfect for that. It gives enough room to share those quick updates, and that's about it. Replies are also kept succinct which makes parsing those for relevant context or side info similarly simple.

I originally got into Twitter because it was the update channel for when new Cyanogenmod releases dropped and I stuck around because following the right security professionals made it so that I could learn about a new CVE within seconds of its filing rather than having to wait for a news site I visit to catch wind of it and write something up. Which in turn made my job easier because I knew what systems we'd need to be patching well before that info bubbled up to my bosses so I could already have a head start on the work before the ask reached me officially.

These days, microblogging (at least with a straight chronological follow feed) more or less achieves what RSS used to back before everyone suddenly decided about a decade back that it wasn't worth maintaining an RSS feed without Google running Reader or some crap. By way of example, ~20 years ago I had 13 comics that I followed via my RSS reader, today only 5 of those creators still have RSS feeds and a couple of those seem like they're on life support for how they seem to infrequently pause updates for a few days at a time. All of the RSS feeds that are gone have moved to microblogging of some sort for updates, and I'd rather they use something open than the likes of Twitter (which I left at the first whiff that Musk was buying the place) or Instagram (which I have never used because it's Facebook and I don't do Facebook.)

Let’s not even get started on how stupid people sound when they talk about skeets and toots.

Yeah, I'll agree there. I call them posts wherever they reside. It's what they've always been, it's what they'll always be.


Going from one billionaire’s platform to another (Twitter/Musk > Bluesky/Dorsey) is not a smart move. There’s a vast segment of the population that learns nothing and keeps making the same mistakes.


There’s a vast majority of the population that doesn’t care.


Dorsey doesn’t own bluesky, it’s a public interest company and it runs on the AT protocol, which is defederated and open source… like lemmy or mastodon


Jack doesn’t own bluesky but he is on the board [0] and even working for a public benefit company, is supposed to [1]:

… operate the business with the same authority and behavior as in a traditional corporation

It does go on to state they’re required to consider the impact of their decisions not only for shareholders but also employees, customers, community, etc, but there’s no mechanism that forces them to do “the right thing”. A public benefit company is basically a way to protect decisions made if they were to not align with the concept of “shareholder primacy” [2]. On the other hand, if Bluesky had registered as a certified B Corp [3], that would have more weight to it as they not only have to state their intentions but also provide evidence.

In regards to being federated - are they actually federating with anyone yet? Genuine question, I haven’t kept up.

In regards to being open source, it’s a good start, but like the Chromium project, the company’s needs will drive it forward and the interest of the company will come first, good or bad.






Why is everything called blue sky all of a sudden? I see blue sky everywhere - blue sky plumbing, blue sky builders, blue sky bar, blue sky physical therapy, blue sky cbd… even Mt Evans was renamed to Mt Blue Sky.

FaceDeer avatar

Are you sure it's not just Baader-Meinhof phenomenon? Once you're primed to notice a particular thing you'll notice it more often, even if it was around equally much beforehand.


Software devs for a long time would discuss “green field” development, which is a metaphor from constructing a building in an empty field: you start from nothing, and build all new. Most software devs prefer to write new code rather than try to learn the quirks and nuances of a large, already-existing pile of code, so “green field” is considered both desirable and often practically unattainable.

“Blue sky” is a similar concept but loftier. It isn’t just that you have an empty field waiting for you, you’ve got the infitie expanse of the clear blue sky: endless possibilities, unlimited creativity, etc. “Blue sky development” as a metaphor I think comes from designers, product managers, and other software-dev adjacent fields. It means thinking of ideas that are out of the box and unconstrained by historical limits.

That’s why everything is named that: execs and marketers love that kind of hollow promise. That anything is possible even though actually they’re almost always just clones of existing things whose greatest innovation is to loudly proclaim how new and innovative you are.

Jaysyn avatar

No thanks.

FartsWithAnAccent, avatar

Not really interested myself: Never liked the Twitter-esque platforms to begin with, plus I’m pretty happy with Lemmy and Kbin.

tourist, avatar


I just don’t think I know how I’m supposed to “properly” use Mastodon. I just see 80% US political discussion, which is fine, but my broken zoomer brain just gets worn down by it very easily.

With Lemmy/KBin if I get bored with a topic, I can just switch over to a different community/magazine.


Twitter is terrible for people like me. I like following interests: books, coding, landscape photography, linux, etc. Twitter is more about following people, and people have diverse interests. One thing I really liked about Reddit was that it had active subreddits dedicated to particular interests. You could just hang out in those subreddits and only ever interact with things on topic to said interests. Lemmy has a bit less of that, unless your interests are politics, linux, and programming, and shitty memes.

FartsWithAnAccent, avatar

Yeah, I’m looking forward to Lemmy having more niche places: That was, hands down, my favorite thing about reddit. I don’t really care much about following people, I prefer to follow subjects…

Speaking of niche communities, I’d like to take this opportunity to plug !micromobility

seliaste, avatar

I feel the same, microblogging sites such as twitter never really felt cool to use because there was too much noise between the content I actually wanted. But as a photographer and a musician, I might join bsky to spread my art, which is definetly harder to do atm on mastodon imo


Lemmy is great in the same ways (and better in some) in principle, it’s just a scale thing that makes it more difficult to obtain that “build your own experience” effect like Reddit has. There just aren’t enough people right now to support the super idiosyncratic stream of content that you can curate with Reddit.

My advice is to just lean into it. Start with Ubuntu or Mint, queue up The Next Generation season 1 on your Jellyfin server, and keep contributing.


I prefer Stargate on Plex and praising the Lord with TempleOS.


See? There’s something for everybody on Lemmy!


Totally agreed. I never used Twitter. I tried in earnest to use Mastodon for a couple years, because I wanted it to to succeed, just kind of ideologically.

Eventually I realized that the whole concept of “microblogging” is just fundamentally awful. (At least for me)

blackjam_alex, (edited )

Bluesky is very barebones and has even less functionality than Mastodon. Beside having a similar look to Twitter I don’t understand why people choose it.


Because even for me, a full time systems coder, just figuring out what server to join was a pain, I had to try 3/4 time before I felt like I had enough info to make the correct choice, and then finding other users from my previous twitter gang was a pain, the barrier to entry is much higher than some other options.


Unfortunately marketing matters a lot. One single brand is easier to understand than the many federated servers of mastodon.

I wanted to check out where this reddit community migrated to some server with something lemmy. It said something about mastadon so I made an account to try to participate. It wasn’t really clear to me lemmy isn’t another mastodon instance, but a different protocol with some federated synergy. My fault, but the marketing is a bit confusing.

victron, avatar

Same as me, I have tried to join mastodon like 4 times since it launched. To me it’s still a ghost town with very little of value.


I’ve built a place I find comfortable, took a couple tries. But I have found decent content, found some of my friends from twitter, found replication bots for people I used to follow but not really interact with.

It’s not twitter, but it took me 5+ years to build out my twitter. I think over time, enough people will join defederated social media that it can be a pretty good experience if a little too much work for many. But it will take a little time.


That’s true.

sxan, avatar

Really? I just spun up a gotosocial instance on a VPS and was up and running in a dozen minutes. Failing that, I’d have just joined Why was it a hard decision for you? As a tech person, what about “federated” was confusing? I have a second account on a spoken language-specific server, for kicks; I set both of these up within an hour of each other. I donft understand how it could be considered a hard choice.

Now, the finding people, I could understand, but since I was not on Twitter to begin with, I had nobody I cared about following. I can understand how that would be challenging, although it has nothing to do with your home server selection.


There were tools that people made that would find if the people you followed/followed you were on Mastodon and added them so the migration wasn’t quite as painful as some here have described.

HKayn, avatar

Why was it a hard decision for you?

Not the person you replied to, but when a few friends of mine tried to migrate off Twitter, had closed sign-ups. So with the “official” instance unavailable, the issue was that there was a choice at all.

While there’s only one “Twitter” or (presently) only one “BlueSky” to join, on Mastodon you suddenly have to decide which instance is the right one to make your account on. Which instance is most likely to stick around for the next couple years? Which instance is most aligned with your interests? Does the instance happen to (de)federate in any way that is a deal-breaker for you? Is the instance moderated well? You wouldn’t have to think about those if you signed up to BlueSky.

It’s an issue similar to what Linux has with distributions.


Because even for me, a full time systems coder, just figuring out what server to join was a pain

What was there to figure out in your case?


Well, every instance has different mix of people interest and moderation. Which maybe I was over thinking it but it took a while to figure out where I wanted to be. And my initial experience wasn’t great. My server was way out of date, had caching issues, was slow lots of defederation and perhaps arbitrary blocking that I didn’t know was going on so I didn’t understand why it didn’t work.

I gave up and came back to a different server and it’s been good since. But, no one is switching from threads or Instagram for that experience. Or at least going to stick with it long enough to find a home.

SnotFlickerman, avatar

Step 1. Make people feel “excited” about joining by creating false exclusivity. (Facebook was originally only for college campuses)

Step 2. Drop the false exclusivity.

Step 3. Profit?

I honestly don’t know either…


i’ll chose it because reddit is a cesspit and the fediverse has very little content.


And is there loads of content on BlueSky? It’s really the only thing missing on Mastodon/Lemmy. Both are superior to X/Reddit, but content is slow in moving over.

nicetriangle avatar

For my particular niche (illustration) it has a way better concentration of active (and also importantly) high quality actual working professional artists on it than mastodon.

The art scene on mastodon is pretty meh and the largest art centric instance is run by unstable authoritarians that are some of the biggest sources of drama on mastodon.


Does it need a lot of functionality? I’m still trying to find where my Twitter connections went.

If other blue sky over threads, and private beta forever is just handing meta market share.


I’ve seen people not wanting to migrate from Twitter to Mastodon or Threads because they lack things like showing Trending Topics by country.

eager_eagle, avatar

They could have opened themselves when twitter went downhill. They missed this opportunity window Threads took advantage of.

heavyboots, avatar

Last time I tried to use Blue Sky it was so incredibly broken. And that was like November 23? I assume at the time that Twitter was exploding with people jumping for life rafts it was even less feature complete. They probably would have just doomed themselves via word of mouth if hordes of people had come straight from Twitter to BS. At least this way they are managing expectations a little bit.

OTOH, having said that, I don’t understand why anyone would ever get onto a new commercial social media platform again now the Fediverse exists. Kick in a couple bucks a month to your server admins and the dev team and know that at least you’re not the product and not just building up something that is on the road to yet another enshitification.

eager_eagle, avatar

I just realized

BS = Bull… ehrm BlueSky

heavyboots, avatar

Haha, yes it is an unfortunately acronym their name makes.


Blue Shit


I don’t understand why anyone would ever get onto a new commercial social media platform again now the Fediverse exists.

Lots of reasons:

  • It’s bigger and less fragmented. More content, more diversity, more activity, and it’s all in one easy place.
  • No extra conceptual hurdles to overcome like “what is an instance” or “which instance do I join”.
  • Network effect. See point 1. Unless you are some kind of FOSS enthusiast or a refugee of every other social media platform due to your vulgar, sexual, illegal, and/or politically extreme interests, your friends, followed creators, and other people of interest have a far higher chance of being on BlueSky than the Fediverse.
  • An actual algorithm. Many people who jump to the Fediverse hate it, but a silent majority of casual users actively want it. Meticulously curating your own feed is not a boon to them, it is a chore.

A lot of the crap that the Fediverse did not inherit from its commercial counterparts is precisely what a lot of users are there for. And a lot of the expanded tooling and control the Fediverse alternatives offer are pearls before swine with most of these folks. Overall it just makes the Fediverse appear flakey, underbaked, and devoid of content.

heavyboots, avatar

With respect to Blue Sky, which I was specifically addressing, it only has 3 million active users vs Mastodon’s 8 million right now though, which also somewhat obviates the whole network effect for new BS users. Not to mention since it is also decentralized, it does still suffer from the issue of instancing. About the only thing it may have going for it is an algorithm. I don’t honestly speak to that since I’ve only been there briefly, but since Twitter ran just fine without one and attracted tons of users (and got a lot of them angry when they switched to an algorithm), I suspect it isn’t a huge deciding factor for a lot of users.

I guess my point is… Blue Sky is still trying to launch and struggling. Mastodon is much more mature and only going to accelerate into the network effect more rapidly from here on out as well as standing a much better chance of not just being enshitified 5-7 years down the road, so when choosing between the two, I would definitely encourage any friends leaving Xitter to join Mastodon rather than Blue Sky.

Also, I feel like the users that care about algorithms and following Drake or whoever are just going to stick with Xitter anyway, because they really don’t care about all the “drama” of who owns it or what they are doing with their data.

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