Bluesky, the company building a decentralized alternative to Twitter/X, announced today it has hit 2 million users — up by another million since September, despite remaining an invite-only app. It also revealed its timeframe regarding other key goals, indicating that it planned to have a public web interface go live by the end of the month and would launch federation by early next year. The latter is one of the most important differentiating factors between Bluesky and X, as it would allow Bluesky to function as a more open social network. This means it will work more like Mastodon where users can pick and choose which servers to join and move their accounts around at will.
This is what Bluesky today says makes it “billionaire-proof” — a swipe at Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter, now called X. “You’ll always have the freedom to choose (and to exit) instead of being held to the whims of private companies or black box algorithms,” a company blog post explained. “And wherever you go, your friends and relationships will be there too,” it noted. Similar to the decentralized service Mastodon, federation would anyone to run their own service and connect to any other service also running the same protocol. In Bluesky’s case, this would be done via the AT Protocol that the company is also developing alongside its consumer-facing service and mobile app. However, the other major decentralized social network, Mastodon, uses a well-established protocol, ActivityPub, which has gained greater traction in the months since Musk’s Twitter acquisition. Since then, other companies including Mozilla, Flipboard, Medium, and Automattic (WordPress.com’s parent) have embraced ActivityPub and Mastodon.