What Is Bluesky?
In 2019, Jack Dorsey founded the decentralized social network Bluesky. Created independently of Twitter but funded by the company (until 2022), Bluesky was intended it to fix what Dorsey viewed as the biggest issue with Twitter: its corporate structure and interests.
In contrast, Bluesky is a protocol, a system through which different social mediums can interact and, importantly, which cannot be owned by a state or company.
Recent changes in Twitter’s structure and algorithm have some users dissatisfied and looking for alternatives, and the interest lies largely in Bluesky: with only 70,000 active users, the invite-only protocol has nearly 2,000,000 people on the waitlist.
The content is much like Twitter: posts must be under 256 characters and can be liked and, for lack of a better word, retweeted (Bluesky’s terminology is still under development).
A key difference is that users can create their own networks – much like Mastodon, a platform that has also recently received a large influx of new users (in addition to dubious reviews of its confusing layout and use). Early users of Bluesky have found it more welcoming.
The network system means that rather than a single overseeing moderation team (like at Twitter), each network will be responsible for policing its users. That means each individual network will have a different code of conduct, similar to Reddit’s subreddit moderation system.
Are There Ads on Bluesky?
Because the app is currently in beta, advertising is not an available function just yet. However, the conversation between users and administrators regarding Bluesky’s algorithmic and user-chosen content has included the topic of ads, indicating that it’s a matter of time before ads appear.
What Advertising Opportunities Does Bluesky Present?
It’s likely that when Bluesky rolls out in full, advertisers will have the ability to place ads in networks or user interest groups similar to Reddit’s framework. This user self-selection will be extremely useful to businesses running targeted campaigns.
A more pressing question is whether Bluesky will maintain its growth long enough to be useful to advertisers. The 9-person team is reportedly hard at work building the protocol’s infrastructure, but questions are already being raised about issues (like content moderation) that have plagued other social media sites.
If Bluesky is successful in convincing users of its decentralized approach, more social media platforms might adopt its protocol, leading to far easier cross-platform advertising. It’s far too soon to say whether this possibility is likely, but it’s an exciting prospect for advertisers wrestling with the different requirements of online advertising platforms.