Bluesky to launch DMs, video, and enhanced custom feeds

Bluesky to launch DMs, video, and enhanced custom feeds

Decentralized social media network Bluesky has confirmed that direct messages (DMs) is among several new features that they plan to roll out.

The company, founded in 2021, claims to have seen massive growth over the past year, growing from 40,000 users to 5.6 million. In a blog post on its site, the app stated that it would be adding video and improved custom feeds, which they deem as “Quality of Life” improvements and some long-requested features.

However, it is unclear when these new features will appear but the Twitter rival said “you can expect to see all of these in the next few months.”

What new features will be added to Bluesky?

The addition of DMs on Bluesky is significant since all posts are currently public. The developers state that the DM service will be integrated into the Bluesky app, which will enable personal connections, job searches, event organization, and post workshopping. Initially, this feature will support one-to-one interactions, and users will have the ability to restrict who can DM them. This service will be ‘off protocol’ at first to allow for iterative development.

Until now, only images could be shared on the network. According to the social network, users have been requesting this feature for a while. Bluesky is projecting that clips up to 90 seconds long will be shareable.

The company is exploring a variety of ideas for Custom Feeds, including a space for trending feeds, in-app feed creation, the ability to submit posts to feeds, curate submissions, and manually moderate included content. In addition to this, they are looking into new feedback mechanisms and overall improved feed discovery.

It also appears the company is trying to tackle trolling on the app by improving its moderation and anti-harassment features. It comes as social media giants have been warned about taming “toxic algorithms.

How is Bluesky different from Twitter / X?

While Bluesky functions similarly to X (formerly known as Twitter) in many ways, a major component of the app is its decentralization. It does not yet feature DMs or some advanced tools such as adding accounts to lists. However, as mentioned, the company is attempting to address these shortcomings in their product roadmap.

The app was conceptualized by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2019, which was developed alongside Twitter (now known as X). This social network shares a similar interface with Twitter, offering users algorithmic choices, a federated design, and community-specific moderation. It features the AT Protocol, an open-source framework created in-house, providing transparency into its construction and ongoing development.

Functioning much like a simplified version of Twitter, Bluesky allows users to create posts up to 256 characters, including photos. These posts can be replied to, retweeted, liked, and managed through a three-dot menu for reporting, sharing via the iOS Share Sheet, or copying as text.

Users can search for and follow others, viewing updates in their “Home” timeline. The previous “What’s Hot” feed has been replaced by a more personalized “Discover” feed that shows a wider array of content. The “Discover” tab is also located at the bottom center of the app’s navigation suggests new users to follow and displays recent Bluesky updates.

In recent days, Dorsey confirmed that he was no longer a board member and that Bluesky was seeking his replacement. Neither Bluesky nor Dorsey have made it clear why they have gone their separate ways, but for now, Jay Graeber (CEO) and Jeremie Miller remain as the other two board members.

Featured image: Canva

The post “Bluesky to launch DMs, video, and enhanced custom feeds” by Suswati Basu was published on 05/08/2024 by