BlogToward Federation and an Open Network

Toward Federation and an Open Network

Nov 16, 2023

by The Bluesky Team

Exactly one year ago, on November 16, 2022, the first post on Bluesky was created:

The first post on Bluesky
The first post on Bluesky.

Fast forward a year later, and we’ve just crossed two million users after opening the app to users around February. We’re excited to continue growing a truly open social network.

Toward Federation

Imagine you’ve just spent 10 years building your audience and making friends on a social platform, only to decide that it’s no longer for you. When you leave this platform, you’re essentially leaving behind all of your relationships, your saved posts, and more.

We’ve been there too, and we’re similarly tired of packing our bags each time another platform winds down and everyone collectively moves to the next big thing. Signing up for a new social network every few years and losing all our data on former ones shouldn’t be the price that we have to pay in order to keep our relationships online.

That’s why our biggest priority right now is launching federation, which is timelined for early next year. This is one of the core features of Bluesky that makes it “billionaire-proof” — 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. And wherever you go, your friends and relationships will be there too.

A Public Network

The Bluesky web app

More exciting news: around the end of this month, we’ll release a public web interface. With this, you’ll be able to view posts on Bluesky without being logged in on an account.

This will make posts on Bluesky much more accessible, which will be especially useful for real-time commentary and breaking news.

As a reminder, Bluesky is a public social network, so your posts, likes, etc. have always been publicly accessible through the API. We designed Bluesky with the openness of the internet in mind, and you can think of your profile as a blog on the internet. To read more about data privacy on Bluesky, here’s our user FAQ.

Other Updates

In between all of the above, we’ve also shipped some much-requested features, including:

  • Mobile push notifications: receive notifications on your phone
  • General user lists: add users to shareable lists and see their posts in one feed
  • Email verification: verify your account email for added security
  • Advanced feed and thread preferences: sort replies by time, likes, or randomly; see replies from your follows first; show/hide replies or quote posts in your feeds, and more
  • Media tab for user profiles: easily find and see the photos that a user has posted
  • A Likes tab on your own profile: see all your liked posts in one place
  • Improved startup and loading time: reduces the time spent loading the app
  • Suggested follows: get recommended follows based on each user
  • Accessibility improvements: improvements to alt text, component labels, screen flashing, and more

And there’s much more to come — join us for the ride! See you on Bluesky!

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