Bluesky, the Decentralized Social Networking Project via Twitter, announced its first major update since 2019.
When the Twitter CEO justified blocking his platform to Trump, he mentioned the Bluesky project, which the platform was working on.
The project, which aims to address Twitter’s shortcomings in the wake of hate speech and violence, is supposed to be a decentralized social media platform similar to Bitcoin.
Decentralized apps have been around since the invention of Bitcoin a decade ago, and unlike the regular application, decentralized apps have no central ownership and often run via blockchain technology.
For Twitter, this could mean that decisions, such as deciding which content to moderate, will not be made by executives on social media.
Although the project looks innovative, many in the DApp community were skeptical when it was first announced.
The Bluesky team released a review of the decentralized ecosystem online, and said they hope to find a team leader in the coming months.
The review came after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey discussed the project earlier this month, when he described it as the standard of the online public conversation layer.
The review identifies a variety of well-known decentralized systems, including ActivityPub, which operates the social network Mastodon, Messaging Standard XMPP, which powers WhatsApp, and Solid, a decentralization project led by the creator of the World Wide Web (Tim Berners-Lee).
The review covers how these systems deal with basic social networking elements, such as: discoverability, supervision, and privacy, in addition to how to increase the services based on them, deal with them, and make money.
The review does not explain how Bluesky himself might function, and Dorsey said: Bluesky takes time to build, and if the project results in a protocol, that system might be built from scratch, or it might build on an existing standard, like ActivityPub, a possibility Dorsey mentioned in 2009. 2019 upon unveiling of the initiative.
We are trying to do our part by funding an initiative around a decentralized, open standard for social media, and our goal is to be a customer of this standard for the online public conversation layer, ”said Dorsey at the time.
The review provides a glimpse into who has been working on Bluesky, as it was written by Jay Graber, creator of the event organizer Happening.
Other contributors include Mastodon Developer (Eugen Rochko), co-designer of peer-to-peer browser Beaker (Paul Frazee) Paul Frazee, ActivityPub Standard Co-Editor (Christopher Lemmer Webber), and IPFS Project Lead (Molly Mackinlay).
It also hints at the fact that decentralization is often unprofitable, and the review focuses on monetization options, such as: membership fees and micro-transactions for cryptocurrencies, but it also indicates that many decentralized projects rely on volunteer work and donations, which is not ideal for a platform that supports Commercial networks like Twitter.
However, the platforms have worked on systems like Brave tokens, which is a cryptocurrency-based system for sharing ad revenue.
Given the long lag in time between Bluesky’s announcement and the early step of a review, we might not see Twitter’s plans for the global standard anytime soon, let alone Twitter’s adoption of that standard.
As some decentralized developers reported in 2019, Twitter’s contribution is likely to be limited at present to providing resources for existing projects, rather than trying to lead the unified standard.
However, the review notes that Bluesky is trying to build on what people in the field have already discovered, without clarifying where this development might be heading at the moment.