Bluesky Social, one of the rivals to former social media giant Twitter/X, has hit the one million users milestone. Rose Wang, who oversees operations and strategy for the site, made the announcement on Twitter via a screenshot of the moment.
Bluesky was created by former Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey, and stealth launched back in October 2022. It capitalized on the decentralized media trend, a far cry from the centralized services of Twitter that Dorsey now regrets creating, by allowing anyone to build an interface to display the data and activity flowing underneath.
This also means that your identity and information are easily transferable to any other platform that supports the Authenticated Transfer Protocol, not unlike the so-called fediverse that lets users verify their Threads profile on Mastodon.
Speaking of Threads, engagement has seemed to plummet as interest has waned. Threads is another Twitter competitor that was released more recently in July 2023, and which managed to hit over 100 million users in only five days, thanks to feeding off the massive two billion user base of its parent social media app Instagram.
While Bluesky hasn’t seen the explosive growth of Threads, due to its invite-only policy controlling expansion, its own growth has chugged along at a steady pace. I would even argue that the invite code method has been instrumental in building up interest and intrigue in the site, as long-term users gather and distribute codes for friends, influencers, and even celebrities.
Another factor why Bluesky has been seeing consistent engagement on its platform, unlike Threads, is due to that controlled user base. Having 100 million users may mean more initial activity, but it also means higher chances of conflict and negative engagement with others.
Bluesky, as its name suggests, feels much calmer, even more mature. It feels like Twitter in its early days, without the overwhelming vitriol that later defined the platform and has now overtaken it like a disease.
There’s also the fact that Bluesky, taking its time with its growth, has cultivated an actual culture that promotes more civility and news-sharing, as well as what Engadget accurately describes as “surreal memes, dedicated shitposting, and a whimsical, pervasive horniness.” Sounds like pre-Elon Musk Twitter, doesn’t it?
Threads, on the other hand, wants to replace Twitter so badly but has carried over Instagram’s often stifling and erratic censorship, which means posts that would have been perfectly fine on Twitter and Bluesky are at constant risk of being taken down.
Honestly, the only culture that’s thrived so far on Threads is an overly-sanitized one. It's ripe for corporate accounts to swoop in and cultivate into the perfect shopping mall.
That’s not even touching on the privacy nightmare of the Threads app, which collects data on nearly every single process on your phone and then runs adverts based on that personal data it swiped from you. There’s a reason why the app still hasn’t launched in the European Union proper — it’s because of the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA). Bluesky, by comparison, is far tamer and more reasonable in what permissions its app requires.
Though its user base is modest in comparison to Threads, Bluesky is easily the superior social media platform and the true successor to Twitter. So, if you’ve been looking for a new site to spread your wings into, you’re much better off waiting for a friend to hook you up with a Bluesky code. Believe me, it’s worth the wait.