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Decentralised Twitter rival Bluesky arrives with Jack Dorsey backing

A new Twitter rival has hit the market in the shape of Bluesky, which has the distinction of coming with the backing of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

While the app has landed on the App Store, the service itself is only available as part of a private beta, which means that you’ll require an invite code to join up.

Bluesky looks to be a fairly faithful Twitter-like social media app, with the ability to share brief posts and pictures, as well as comment and like. Indeed, the project actually started life within Twitter’s walls, though it spun off as its own separate company last year and added deposed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to the board.

The key distinguishing feature of Bluesky over something like Twitter is its decentralised nature, powered by the so-called Authenticated Transfer Protocol, aka the AT Protocol. This is the real launch here, providing so-called “federated social network”, with many separate sites able to communicate with one another, rather like how email works.

The benefit of this approach is account ownership and portability, with no one corporation owning your online identity. Imagine if, when you reached the end of your tether with Twitter, you could have just moved your account wholesale to a completely different service, retaining all your data.

Another benefit that Bluesky touts is algorithmic choice. Don’t like the recommended posts that the service is surfacing for you? Tweak that algorithm to suit.

The Bluesky app is basically being treated as the ‘browser’ sitting on top of that AT Protocol. The company rather grandly likens it to launching a web browser alongside the World Wide Web.

You can join the Bluesky beta invite waiting list here.

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