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21st Apr 2023

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has set up new ‘Musk-free’ Twitter ‘clone’

Charlie Herbert

Jack Dorsey launches new Twitter rival

Bluesky will serve as a ‘public benefit’ company

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has set up a social media alternative to the platform, which has been described as a “Musk-free” Twitter “clone.”

The new platform, called Bluesky, is almost ready for general release and is set to be marketed as a direct competitor to Twitter.

It will serve as a “public benefit” company to build an open-source, decentralized social protocol. At the moment it is still invite-only though.

The Verge labelled it a “shameless clone of Twitter”, but there are some differences between the two platforms.

For example, users’ feed is displayed chronologically of those you follow by default with the option to view a ‘What’s Hot’ algorithmic feed – although this certainly sounds a lot like the ‘For You’ section on Twitter.

Some things that are missing from the platform are the ability to export account data and a marketplace of feed algorithms for users to select from.

But Bluesky is still in its early days of development, so we’ll have to wait and see what else it has to offer.

The CEO of the new platform, Jay Graber, provided some information about where the app sees itself, explaining how it compares to the likes of Nostr and Mastodon, which have also marketed themselves as Twitter alternatives for those who are unhappy with how Elon Musk is running the site.

Graber said that Bluesky does not see itself as a competitor to Mastodon and explained: “We’ve designed a protocol that has three big things we think are missing from the Mastodon ecosystem: account portability, global discoverability, [and] composable, customizable curation and moderation.”

Dorsey does also have an involvement in Nostr – a platform he has supported and financially endorsed – but Graber said the Twitter founder is still on the Bluesky board.

Dorsey issued a public apology to former and current Twitter staff last year following Musk’s takeover of the platform and subsequent treatment of staff.

The Tesla CEO culled huge numbers of staff at Twitter when he took over, issuing bizarre open letters to workers.

And his Twitter Blue policy has proved deeply unpopular.

Posting on Twitter on 5 November, Dorsey wrote: “Folks at Twitter past and present are strong and resilient. They will always find a way no matter how difficult the moment.

“I realise many are angry with me. I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly. I apologize for that.”

In a follow-up tweet, he added: “I am grateful for, and love, everyone who has ever worked on Twitter. I don’t expect that to be mutual in this moment…or ever…and I understand.”

On Thursday (April 20), Twitter removed blue tick verifications from any account that wasn’t subscribed to Twitter Blue. This included the likes of Beyonce and Cristiano Ronaldo, the BBC reports.

Users who wish to retain the check beside their name must pay $84 a year (£67) to subscribe to Twitter Blue.

A number of news and media organisations have also lost their verification.

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