Bluesky, the decentralized microblogging platform launched by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has finally opened its doors to the public.
For the past year or so, Bluesky has subsisted on an invite-only model that only allowed users to set up an account if they had been invited to the platform by someone already using it. Bluesky would occasionally dole out new activation codes to keep the site growing—a strategy that ensured continued hype and FOMO. Now, the site’s creators have decided that they’re done with the hype-building and just want more people to start using the service.
On Tuesday, Bluesky announced that anybody could now set up an account for free on the platform. A blog post about the change also revealed some interesting upcoming features, including the ability for developers to self-host servers that are connected to the broader Bluesky network.
“For the past year, we used invite codes to help us manage growth while we built features like moderation tooling, custom feeds, and more. Now, we’re ready for anyone to join,” the team said in the post.
You could read this development in one of two ways: 1) Bluesky has simply decided it is ready for a broader launch of its platform or 2), Bluesky has not succeeded in generating the kind of following it had hoped with its invite codes and is pivoting to a more inclusive model in the hope of growing its userbase. While word-of-mouth about Bluesky has generally been pretty good, it’s not clear that it’s been particularly widespread. Currently, the site only has about 3 million users (you can compare that number to the one associated with Meta’s Threads, which is said to have tens of millions of users).
Either way, I give Bluesky points for trying something different. The site’s decision to pitch itself as a stripped-down, flexible, decentralized alternative to the big black box corporations like Meta and X (formerly Twitter) has certainly won it some good faith from web users who are sick of being beholden to a big evil company to interact online. How the site will make money in the future is the real question. Dorsey and others have claimed that they are not particularly interested in an ad-based revenue model. To generate income, the site’s creators have said they plan to make money by selling certain services to users.
To sign up for Bluesky, just follow the link on this page, click “Create a new account,” and follow the instructions.