Bluesky hits 2 million users
Bluesky hits 2 million users

Bluesky: The New Social Media Platform

What To Know

  • In practical terms, this feature functions similarly to pinning different lists to your Twitter home timeline, allowing users to subscribe to multiple feeds and effortlessly switch between them within the app.
  • “Our objective is to construct a social media architecture that integrates third-party services seamlessly, as an open ecosystem is likely to evolve more rapidly than a single company’s approach to curation or moderation,”.
  • The concept of custom algorithms has long been championed by Jack Dorsey, who had previously entertained the idea of granting users the ability to select their algorithms during his tenure at Twitter.
  • The appeal of custom algorithms lies in the fact that users are aware of each feed’s prioritization upfront and can effortlessly transition between different experiences, most of which are not controlled by the platform.

Bluesky, an alternative to Twitter supported by Jack Dorsey, has unveiled a significant update that grants users the ability to personalize their algorithms. Although the service is currently in closed beta, it has introduced the feature of “custom feeds,” which permits individuals to subscribe to various algorithms and create their own for others to follow.

In practical terms, this feature functions similarly to pinning different lists to your Twitter home timeline, allowing users to subscribe to multiple feeds and effortlessly switch between them within the app. However, custom feeds possess greater potency than simple account lists due to their algorithmic nature.

For instance, there exists a feed exclusively dedicated to posts from your mutual connections—people you follow who also follow you back. While this might resemble a list, it differs from a Twitter list as the feed dynamically adjusts as you gain more mutual followers. Moreover, unlike Bluesky‘s default “following” timeline, most custom feeds do not adhere to a chronological order.

These feeds also serve as a gateway into the diverse communities emerging on Bluesky, as well as provide insights into the platform’s current trends. Custom feeds about furries, cat photos, queer shitposters, positive thoughts, and the hell thread already exist. Early adopters have had the opportunity to experiment with this feature through third-party apps like SkyFeed and Flipboard, which incorporated the functionality before Bluesky’s official app release.

Currently, anyone can create a feed for Bluesky, although the process is described as “technical” by Paul Frazee, Bluesky’s protocol engineer. However, Frazee reassured users that future updates would simplify the in-app creation of custom feeds.

This update has the potential to become a defining characteristic of Bluesky. CEO Jay Graber has expressed that algorithmic choice can address concerns regarding the perceived manipulation of people’s timelines through algorithms. It also offers a glimpse into the future direction of this early-stage platform. Graber envisions a similar user-controlled approach to content moderation, allowing individuals to determine the level of moderation and filtering they desire.

“Our objective is to construct a social media architecture that integrates third-party services seamlessly, as an open ecosystem is likely to evolve more rapidly than a single company’s approach to curation or moderation,” wrote Graber. “By facilitating innovation in these areas, we aim to provide a dynamic and user-centered social experience.”

The concept of custom algorithms has long been championed by Jack Dorsey, who had previously entertained the idea of granting users the ability to select their algorithms during his tenure at Twitter.

This development also occurs amidst industry-wide scrutiny of how social media algorithms affect users and whether major platform operators inadvertently favor certain user groups.

The appeal of custom algorithms lies in the fact that users are aware of each feed’s prioritization upfront and can effortlessly transition between different experiences, most of which are not controlled by the platform.

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