Bluesky is starting to feel like Twitter

Bluesky might just be like the Twitter we’ve been waiting for.

Yes, I know it’s still invite only. Yes, I know there are only thousands of people on the platform right now. Yes, I know it’s still missing betting table features like video uploads and direct messages.

However, I’m starting to feel like Bluesky is where she is.

It happened over the past few days. Bluesky — the decentralized alternative to Twitter created by Twitter itself — was suddenly filled with tech media and other people I follow on Twitter. Time and time again, I’d check Twitter for one thing or another and see someone begging for a Bluesky invite, then a little later that person would be on Bluesky’s horizon (timeline) and sledding (tweet). While this does mean that I might be able to use Bluesky for actual news gathering, which I rely on a lot on Twitter for, I was very happy to see the vast majority of Twitter hounds and ex-nerds posting a raw, rambling card. I haven’t seen for a very long time.

In one day, Bluesky achieved a viral breakout speed

Then on Thursday, the service reached the viral escape velocity every new social platform seeks as some of the internet’s biggest names jumped in. Drill joined. Then, AOC. WeRateDogs, the dog rating service. Darth, Sith Lord of the Red Panda. Hell, I even found a “Thursday! What a concept!” account hard diska satirical video game publication.

In the midst of that busy day, Bluesky escaped from downtime. Shortly before 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, the official Bluesky account said the service needed to upgrade its databases after seeing “the largest single-day jump in new users we’ve seen.” The downtime lasted 20 minutes or more of the expected five minutes, but Horizon eventually returned, with everyone letting out a collective sigh of relief. The failed Twitter whale from the early days of the platform is still legendary, so it’s a good sign that people can’t wait for it to come back.

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I’ve already written about how much fun I was having on Bluesky. But I thought the platform would, at least in the short term, still be a proper little thing where only super-idiots like myself could hang out and post cat pics. It is clearly incomplete – for example, Bluesky recommends using the service on the web Link to “staging” in the URL — and I thought the small team of developers would keep messing around before the gates opened.

I wasn’t expecting Darth, Daryl, and AOC to join Bluesky in the same day Less than two weeks after this was posted. There is real energy about Bluesky now.

I can’t get out of Twitter completely yet. I still rely a lot on the Bird app for the latest news. Not everyone I want to follow is on Bluesky. I really wish there were things like direct messages and video.

And the sentiment isn’t quite as good as when I first joined two weeks ago — which is perhaps the most telling sign yet that this might be Twitter 2.0. I’m seeing more performing posts than I’m used to, people going after influence. Some of the posts were downright mean – so were the users threaten Hit writer Matthew Yglesias with hammers. Not great!

But I hope that the necessary features will be added soon over time. All of this can help Bluesky maintain its recent momentum and not turn into another Flash-in-the-pan app like Peach or Ello. Promised decentralized features such as account portability could make Bluesky attractive to more people.

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I’m also encouraged by how active the Bluesky team is on the platform itself, and I appreciate hearing directly from the people who are actually building the product when issues arise. On Friday they said “we cleared our calendars” to get the ban, which was in high demand throughout the week, shipped on the web that day, for example. (Ban is expected to come to mobile apps soon, if it isn’t already there by the time you read this.)

I started Thursday by posting a picture of a cat on Bluesky. I didn’t expect to end up thinking about the nature of skeet. Bluesky has a long way to go to completely replace Twitter for me, but for now, I think it really can.

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