By: Nick Gambino
As Twitter gave way to X, an endless stream of competitors, who saw an opportunity to dethrone the social media giant, flocked in. Bluesky was one of them and positioned themselves as a more liberal-friendly platform.
While there’s a world where Truth Social and Bluesky exist on opposite sides of the aisle and tally some form of success, it won’t work if it’s largely inaccessible to both sides. Bluesky fumbled the ball early by remaining in private beta during the height of their buzz and using a waitlist and invite system for those looking to create an account.
Over the past year, I’d constantly see Twitter/X posts where users were offering or asking for invite codes to the “other place” or the “place where skies are blue.” It wasn’t as cool as it sounds and, frankly, turned me off to the whole thing. I’m not looking to join some secret Eyes Wide Shut social app. I barely want to be on the open registration ones as it is.
Despite the waiting list, they somehow brought in more than three million users, even if that influx slowed down over time. It was clear, they needed to do something to re-spark interest to gain a heck of a lot of new users. And that’s exactly what they’ve accomplished with the news that Bluesky is doing away with the waitlist and invite system and is opening up the platform to everyone.
“For the past year, we used invite codes to help us manage growth while we built features like moderation tooling, custom feeds, and more,” the Bluesky team said in a blog post announcing the change. “Now, we’re ready for anyone to join.”
This move is already proving to be a smart one. The burgeoning social media platform saw almost 800,000 new users on the first day of open registration. Whether that large a stream will continue is anyone’s guess. They have a lot of work ahead of them to compete with X and even Meta-owned Threads.
There is one that gives Bluesky a special advantage none of the other competitors like Mastodon and Threads have. Its main backer is Jack Dorsey, the man who built Twitter into the juggernaut it is today.
We’ll have to see how this plays out in the months to come.