Bluesky, a decentralized social media app tied to Twitter’s pre-Elon Musk leadership, has gone live on Apple’s App Store as of March 1.
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey first announced the Bluesky project in 2019. A former Zcash contributor, Jay Graber joined the project as CEO in 2021.
Though anyone can download the app, Bluesky is currently in private beta, and users must enter an invite code to use it. Recent statements from Graber suggest that additional invite codes are available to those who contact her as of Wednesday.
The app is not available for Android or the web.
Bluesky has no cryptocurrency-related features and does not store data on a blockchain. However, the platform uses the AT Protocol — a federated network that relies on cryptography to store data in a decentralized way. This approach makes it similar to blockchain technology, allowing self-ownership of data.
Graber additionally noted last October that the type of cryptography that the AT Protocol relies on is relatively easy to integrate with cryptocurrency.
Bluesky may be arriving at an opportune time. Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has encouraged some users to leave the site and move to decentralized alternatives such as the federated network Mastodon. However, that trend may be dying down: Mastodon saw its user count fall from 2.5 million to 1.4 million in January despite gaining most users during the Twitter exodus — an ominous sign for Bluesky’s competing product.
Various other decentralized and blockchain social networks have also gone live in recent months. Nostr launched Damus on Feb. 1, while Emurgo launched its Cardano-focused network Spot on Feb. 16. Lens Protocol, with links to Aave, went live in mid-2022.