BlogA New Look for Bluesky: The Social Butterfly

A New Look for Bluesky: The Social Butterfly

Dec 21, 2023

by Jay Graber

Today, we announced a new logo for Bluesky:

Bluesky's new logo: the social butterfly.

Why did we choose a butterfly?

Well, of course, it flies. But more importantly, it is a symbol of change and transformation. Early on, we noticed that people were organically using the butterfly emoji 🦋 to indicate their Bluesky handles. We loved it, and adopted it as it spread. The butterfly speaks to our mission of transforming social media into something new.

Like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, we are starting to open up. Posts on Bluesky have been public from the start through the open protocol, but today we’re making them publicly accessible through the app. We’re unfolding a little bit at a time, and are excited to bring you along on this journey of metamorphosis!

What’s in a name?

The name “Bluesky” was originally a placeholder for the project started by Twitter to build an open social protocol. I decided to keep the name when I was chosen as the lead of the project. It’s memorable and symbolizes the open space of possibilities: the Twitter bird freed from a closed platform to fly in Bluesky’s open ecosystem.

The last slide of the presentation I gave to Twitter in my proposal for how to build Bluesky.
The last slide of the presentation I gave to Twitter in my proposal for how to build Bluesky.

As the project matured, we named the underlying standard the AT Protocol, or atproto. Bluesky, as the more colorful (and less technical) name everyone was familiar with, is also what we named the first app we built on atproto. But Bluesky is not the limit. Many more apps and experiences are already beginning to emerge — there are thousands of custom feeds, dozens of other clients, and atproto will eventually support other apps. We hope that Bluesky, as the first app, will be a catalyst for change and transform how social media works, like a butterfly flapping its wings.

What if I don’t like butterflies?

The great thing about an open network is that anyone can build on top of it and customize it further! Maybe you like birds more. Well, someone could build BirdSky, and you could switch to using that and still be in the same network, still have the same friends, and still see the same posts.

The protocol that makes Bluesky, BirdSky, and endless other options possible is also what makes Bluesky “billionaire-proof.” Just like you can change email providers or cell phone carriers and bring all your contacts, photos, or messages with you, in an open network, 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.

Explore Bluesky

We built Bluesky to be a home for public conversation — breaking news, commentary and analysis, jokes and more. And we’re taking one step closer to this goal by releasing a public web view, which means that you don’t have to be logged in to view posts on Bluesky.

Starting today, you can easily view Bluesky posts without being logged in. Sharing will be more convenient — whether it's a joke you want to text a friend, or a post you want to embed in an article.

If you’re a member of the press, check our FAQ for journalists or get an invite here.

Remember: Posts on Bluesky have always been public via developer tooling and other apps. This update simply makes content on the Bluesky app easily viewable from the website. Read more about what’s public and private on Bluesky here.

Opt-Out Setting

All posts on Bluesky are public, but sometimes, added friction matters. That’s why we’re also including an opt-out setting, so if you don’t want your Bluesky profile to be easily publicly viewable, you can opt out by following these steps:

  1. Update your Bluesky app to the latest version, 1.60, in the App or Play Stores.
  2. Click Moderation in the menu on the left side.
  3. Toggle on Logged-out visibility.

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