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Snippet: The Fun of Bluesky ☇

Shared on May 2, 2023

Kate Knibbs for Wired:

So what makes it special? When you log in to the app that’s not immediately apparent. Bluesky looks like a stripped-down version of Twitter, missing features like drafts, a “block” button, and direct messages. It’s easy to use, but that’s because it’s so unoriginal—if you’ve ever tweeted, you’ll be familiar with the interface. It’s decentralized, but that’s not unique either; Mastodon is too. And while Mastodon emerged as an early front-runner for Replacement Twitter, its brief surge in popularity didn’t last and it will likely remain a niche product. (Too confusing!) […]

Opening the Bluesky app feels, as several users have already pointed out, like nothing more than logging on to Twitter 10 years ago. It’s janky but convivial. Pseudonymous Twitter power users like Dril and Darth are there. Every fourth person’s a journalist, every fifth person’s a podcaster. Extremely online celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are there. It’s horny. (Just this morning, the “What’s Hot” tab showed me a close-up photo of some woman’s bare butt.) Crucially, if you follow somebody, you actually see what they post. Blessedly, there are no brands or advertisements yet.

This is a good synopsis of Bluesky, which seemingly appeared out of nowhere over the weekend. I like the enthusiasm, but it feels like we’re just ending up with a lot of fractured Twitter replacements when maybe it’s time to try something entirely new for a social network. While it makes sense that Bluesky is the de facto Twitter “replacement,” I’m not buying the decentralized claims until we have more than one instance. The amount of missing basic features also feels a bit curious, as blocking should be a core function of a social network. Based on the buzz, there’s a lot of tech people pining for Early Twitter™, but forgetting where it went long before it was sold to Elon Musk.

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