- People are scrambling to try out the new Twitter rival called Bluesky.
- The app is still in beta and only available to those on a waiting list or with an invite.
- Bluesky has been compared to Mastodon and is backed by Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey.
A new invite-only Twitter alternative just lured in Twitter celebs Dril and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — and people are scrambling to follow them.
The Jack Dorsey-backed platform, Bluesky, is a Twitter clone with a very similar format to its established rival.
Bluesky has been available on Apple's app store since February but recently added an Android and beta web version.
The app has been downloaded for iOS more than 240,000 times, with about half of these installs in April, according to Data.ai research cited by Bloomberg.
According to Bluesky CEO Jay Graber, 1.2 million people were on the platform's waitlist following Musk's Twitter takeover.
Musk's ex-girlfriend, Grimes, also appears to have joined the platform, posting a link to her own Discord server. Insider could not independently verify the profile.
Bluesky users set up a profile by choosing a picture, bio, display name, and domain name. Once on the app, they can post, repost, and like and reply to other users. There's also a search tab to find others and the platform suggests people to follow that are "in your network."
Bluesky's timeline is split into two feeds — posts from users an account is following, and a "What's Hot" section that displays popular posts. Unlike most alternatives, the app doesn't have any direct messaging features or hashtags.
Another missing function is the ability to block fellow users or set your profile to private. On Thursday, Graber acknowledged that some users are "being harassed" and that the team was working on a block function, delayed because of "protocol-level complexity."
The app is still in the beta stage and is only available to users with an invite or on the waiting list. The invite codes are usually given out once every two weeks, although a representative for Bluesky said on the platform the team would occasionally "arbitrarily" hand out extra invite codes to activate more users.
Bluesky has been compared to Mastodon, an earlier Twitter alternative. Both platforms are decentralized, meaning user data is not stored on servers owned by one company. However, unlike Mastodon, users don't have to choose a server when they sign up – something that appeared to be an issue for Mastodon users who found the process too complicated.
Bluesky began in 2019 while Dorsey was still CEO of Twitter and initially received funding from the company it now rivals.
In April last year, Bluesky clarified the company's relationship to Twitter, saying: "The bluesky project originated with Twitter in 2019, but the Bluesky PBLLC established this year is an independent company focused on decentralized social network R&D."