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When Twitter started to really fall apart in late 2022, everyone still subjecting themselves to the hellsite was looking for a viable alternative. At the time, options were few and far between, and one of them was Bluesky, an exclusive, invite-only social media platform that actually looked and felt a lot like Twitter. Now, nearly a year later, Bluesky is out of beta and anyone can join it. Does anyone still want to?

Bluesky isn’t exactly a Twitter clone, even if it was started by Twitter’s former founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey. Unlike the bird app, Bluesky is a decentralized social media network. That means the network isn’t controlled by one company, such as Twitter. Instead, people can choose which host provider they want to connect to Bluesky with. You can choose Bluesky’s network, or go with any other. Whichever you choose, you can freely post and view posts without issue, similar to Mastodon. You’ll also find it much easier to customize and tailor your experience than with a traditional social media site. You can read a bit more about how Bluesky works here.

Aside from its unique setup, part of of the initial appeal of Bluesky was that it was exclusive. The network was still going through testing, so developers wanted a limited number of users on the site to keep things under control. The only way to get on the site was to be invited to join, which usually meant knowing someone with an invite code.

That’s finally changing. Bluesky announced on Feb. 6 that the site is fully ready for business: Invites are gone, and you can sign up for an account just as you would any other social network. If you want to, you can head to Bluesky’s sign up page here and follow the instructions to get started. You can also download the app for iOS and Android.

However, I’m not convinced that Bluesky is going to succeed, even after throwing the doors open. While the initial gatekeeping made the site intriguing, it continued for a solid year. While the site continued to grow steadily thanks to more readily available invite codes, adoption was slow and it still kept out most potential interested users throughout that period of time. Maybe if the public launch had happened when Twitter was peak-shitshow (perhaps when the legacy blue checks started going belly-up?), or even when Threads launched last summer, there would’ve been more interest. But as I see things here in February 2024, most people seen to have settled back into their social media habits. If you tried Threads and liked it, you might be loyal to Meta’s platform now. If you’re still hopelessly addicted to X/Twitter, you might not be looking for another app to break your brain. (And if you haven’t left X yet, what’s going to finally convince you? Probably not this.)

I wish Bluesky the best, though. Unlike Threads or X, the site actually has something unique going for it with its decentralized network (even if Mastodon did it first), and it’s not quite as directly tied to an evil billionaire. If you’re curious, sign up for an account and browse around. It can’t be any worse than X.

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