BlogBluesky User FAQ

Bluesky User FAQ

May 19, 2023

by The Bluesky Team

Welcome to the Bluesky app! This is a user guide that answers some common questions.

For general questions about the Bluesky company, please visit our FAQ here. If you’re interested in learning more about the protocol Bluesky is built on (the AT Protocol), please refer to our protocol documentation or our protocol FAQ.

Joining Bluesky

How do I join Bluesky?

You can create an account at bsky.app. (No invite code required!)

You can download the Bluesky app for iOS or Google Play, or use Bluesky via desktop.

Data Privacy

What is public and what is private on Bluesky?

Bluesky is a public social network. Think of your posts as blog posts – anyone on the web can see them, even those without an invite code. An invite code simply grants access to the service we’re running that lets you publish a post yourself. (Developers familiar with the API can view all posts regardless of whether they have an account themselves.)

Specifically:

  • Posts and likes are public.
  • Blocks are public.
  • Mutes are private, but mutelists are public lists. Your mutelist subscriptions are private.
  • Invites and invite trees are private.

Why are my posts, likes, and blocks public?

The AT Protocol, which Bluesky is built on, is designed to support public conversations. To make public conversations portable across all sorts of platforms, your data is stored in data repositories that anyone can view. This means that regardless of which server you choose to join, you’ll still be able to see posts across the whole network, and if you choose to change servers, you can easily take all of your data with you. This is what causes the user experience of Bluesky, a federated protocol, to be similar to all the other social media apps you have used before.

Can I set my profile to be private?

Currently, there are no private profiles on Bluesky.

What happens when I delete a post?

After you delete a post, it will be immediately removed from the user-facing app. Any images attached to your post will be immediately deleted in our data storage too.

However, it takes a bit longer for the text content of a post to be fully deleted in storage. The text content is stored in a non-readable form, but it is possible to query the data via the API. We will periodically perform back-end deletes to entirely wipe this data.

Can I get a copy of all of my data?

Yes — the AT Protocol keeps user data in a content-addressed archive. This archive can be used to migrate account data across servers. For developers, you can use this method to export a copy of your repository. For non-devs, the tooling is still being built to make it easy.

Update: Technical folks can read more about downloading and extracting data in this atproto developer blog post.

You can read our privacy policy here.

Moderation

What does muting do?

Muting prevents you from seeing any notifications or top-level posts from an account. If they reply to a thread, you’ll see a section that says “Post from an account you muted” with an option to show the post. The account will not know that they have been muted.

What does blocking do?

Blocking prevents interaction. When you block an account, both you and the other account will no longer be able to see or interact with each other’s posts.

How do I flag abuse?

You can report posts by clicking on the three-dot menu. You can also report an entire account by visiting their profile and clicking the three-dot menu there.

Where can I read more about your plans for moderation?

We wrote about our approach to composable moderation here and we’ll continue to publish more in the near future.

Custom Feeds

What are custom feeds?

Custom feeds is a feature on Bluesky that allows you to pick the algorithm that powers your social media experience. Imagine you want your timeline to only be posts from your mutuals, or only posts that have cat photos, or only posts related to sports — you can simply pick your feed of choice from an open marketplace.

For users, the ability to customize their feed returns control of their attention to themselves. For developers, an open marketplace of feeds provides the freedom to experiment and publish algorithms that anyone can use.

You can read more about custom feeds and algorithmic choice in our blog post here.

How do I use custom feeds?

On Bluesky, click the hashtag icon on the bottom of the app. From there, you can add and discover new feeds.

How can I create a custom feed?

Developers can use our feed generator starter kit to create a custom feed. Eventually, we will provide better tooling such that anyone, including non-developers, can build custom feeds.

Custom Domains

How can I set up my domain as my handle?

Please refer to our tutorial here.

Can I purchase a domain directly through Bluesky?

Yes, you can purchase a domain and set it as your username through Bluesky here.

Security

How can I reset my password?

Click “Forgot” on the sign-in screen. You will receive an email with a reset code.

What if I didn’t get a password reset email?

Confirm your account email in your settings, and please add noreply@bsky.social to your allowed senders list.

How can I change my account email?

You can update and verify your account email in Settings.

Will you implement two-factor authentication (2FA)?

Yes, implementing 2FA is on our short-term roadmap.

Bluesky, the AT Protocol, and Federation

What’s the difference between Bluesky and the AT Protocol?

Bluesky, the public benefit company, is developing two products: the AT Protocol, and the microblogging app Bluesky. Bluesky, the app, is meant to demonstrate the features of the underlying protocol. The AT Protocol is built to support an entire ecosystem of social apps that extends beyond microblogging.

You can read more about the differences between Bluesky and the AT Protocol in our general FAQ here.

How does federation affect me, as a user of the Bluesky app?

We’re prioritizing user experience and want to make Bluesky as user-friendly as possible. Regardless of which server you join, you’ll be able to see posts from people on other servers and take your data with you if you choose to move servers.

Is Bluesky built on a blockchain? Does it use cryptocurrency?

No, and no.

Miscellaneous

How can I submit feedback?

On the mobile app, open the left side menu and click “Feedback.” On the web app, there is a link to “Send feedback” on the right side of the screen.

You can also email support@bsky.app with support requests.

What is a post on Bluesky called?

The official term is “post.”

How can I find friends or mutuals from other social networks?

Third-party developers maintain tools to find friends from other social networks. Some of these projects are listed here. Please generate an App Password via Settings > Advanced > App Passwords to login to any third-party apps.

Is there a dark mode?

Yes. You can change the display settings to be light or dark mode, or to match your system settings, via Settings > Appearance.

The answers here are subject to change. We’ll update this guide regularly as we continue to release more features. Thank you for joining Bluesky!

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