Decentralized social network Bluesky opens its waitlist with huge demand

    20 Oct 2022
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    Bluesky, a decentralized social network project funded by Twitter, has announced the beta version of its upcoming app. Despite Bluesky having no current blockchain features, its decentralized design will likely appeal to crypto users. A waitlist for the decentralized social media app quickly reached its limit in one day.

    On Oct. 19, the project team announced that it will launch a social media app called Bluesky Social, which will be offered to end users.

    Bluesky’s waitlist quickly saw excess demand, as the project wrote that it had “reached a temporary limit on mailing list signups.” Though Bluesky has changed mail providers and is still accepting new waitlist applications, the incident suggests that there is significant demand for the app.

    The team also announced the next version of the platform’s underlying protocol, formerly known as ADX.

    The team said today that it has rebranded ADX as the “Authenticated Transport Protocol” or “AT Protocol.” It aims to provide portable accounts, a choice of content algorithms, interoperability with other services, and high performance.

    The team also described AT Protocol as a federated network, meaning that users can choose from different providers or self-host their own.

    Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who first announced the project in 2019, acknowledged the project’s latest milestone today. He simply called the news “foundational” in a tweet.

    Despite earlier expectations, today’s announcement did not announce any cryptocurrency or blockchain.

    The AT Protocol, as a decentralized network, functions independently of the will of any single company. That independence, Bluesky believes, will allow users of social networks built atop the protocol to both protect their private data and avoid corporate algorithms that often promote controversy to keep users hooked. 

    “Algorithms dictate what we see and who we can reach,” the Bluesky team wrote today. “We must have control over our algorithms if we’re going to trust in our online spaces.”

    Bluesky’s earliest surveys considered blockchain social networks such as Steemit and Peepeth alongside non-blockchain protocols such as ActivityPub and XMPP. In 2021, former Zcash developer Jay Graber was hired to head the project. That same year, Dorsey responded positively to the suggestion of integrating Lightning Network into Bluesky.

    Despite blockchain’s absence in the final product, Bluesky would likely appeal to the crypto community due to shared values of decentralization and user control.

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