Quick-fire Thoughts on Bluesky

I got a bluesky invite a couple of days ago, set up my account, and I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the new protocol-based “not-Twitter” service ever since. It’s… an odd duck, to be sure.

Conceptually, it’s a similar idea to Mastodon - a decentralised service based around a protocol, rather than a single website. It uses the the AT protocol (as in “@”) rather than ActivityPub, which caused some consternation and concern in the Fediverse, but I’m putting that to the side for now. Suffice to say - for now - bluesky is incompatible with Mastodon and other Fediverse applications.

It’s also not decentralised much yet. The protocol is in the very early stages and the current bluesky service is the only public instance that I know of. The team behind it all are building things out in public view. However, there are developer and API docs available, so the landscape will be expanding in due course. Micro.blog already has working cross-posting to a bluesky account. If all goes well, this post will be cross-posted through my micro.blog account.

As such, everything is very rough around the edges, and there are loads of features missing. The iOS app is functional and fast, which is nice, though it does feel like it lacks a little polish, and there are bugs to be found. The dev team are very active on the service and responsive to feedback and bug reports. They’re also pushing out new builds as fast as the App Store will let them, so major issues don’t last long.

The community itself is… chaotic. There’s a sense of having fun while the “adults”/brands aren’t there. In-jokes abound, and “shitposting” is the order of the day. Most of it flies completely over my head. My shitposting, terminally-online days are far behind me. I can’t say I’m bothered by it, I just don’t really get it.

What does slightly irk me is the main timeline. It’s currently not just posts from people you follow (at least not for me - maybe I need to reach a threshold?), and you’ll see replies and pieces of threads in no discernible order amongst the posts you would expect to see. It adds to the sense of chaos and not knowing what’s going on, but it does make the place seem quite lively!

I haven’t formed enough of an opinion yet to say whether bluesky is “good” or “bad”. It’s currently different in feel to anything else I’ve been trying as a Twitter alternative, but we’ll have to see how well that lasts once the service grows further. If you’re on bluesky yourself, give me a follow here, and let me know how you’re finding it.

And no, I don’t have any invite codes to give out - sorry!