In the week since the announcement of BlueSky open access, 1.3 million new users joined the social media platform and X alternative.
An additional 1.3 million people joined one of several contenders designed to replace X, the former Twitter. Once an invitation-only platform, BlueSky open access is now available for everyone.
How quickly did people respond? Well, let me put it this way: BlueSky launched to iOS users last February and for Android users last April. But to get an account, you had to have an access code. In the past year, the service had grown to 3.2 million users with those invite codes.
The invitation process was the worst. I submitted a request for access last March. I received an email from the platform asking a few quick questions — I don’t remember what they were.
But the email said BlueSky would be “inviting people from the waitlist in the coming weeks.” That was absolutely incorrect.
Coming weeks? Not hardly. A colleague of mine who managed to get one of those elusive codes was able to provide me one. Once you maintain an account, it would give you up to five codes over a period of time that you could pass along to friends to get them in.
I joined with his code in August. That’s five months after I requested a code from the platform itself. BlueSky did finally provide me one, but not until October.
To call their invitation system a mess seems like the ultimate understatement.
But with that ridiculous system in place, the platform attracted 3 million users.
How quickly things changed
But once the BlueSky open access option rolled out, which no longer required the code no one could get, it picked up almost 800,000 users on the first day. Over the week, about 1.3 million quickly joined. Think about that for a minute: The platform saw a 33% increase in users in a single week. And they did it just by making the sign-in process easy. (And possible.)
I don’t expect growth like that to continue longterm.
But if it does continue to grow that fast, X might have a worthy challenge.
The one thing I’ll say for BlueSky is that it looks the most familiar for someone who has used Twitter for a while. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey created it and developed it parallel with Twitter. So of all of the new platforms out there, it seems to be the easiest to adjust to only because it’s practically identical to what Twitter used to be.
Dorsey even took to BlueSky to express his feelings about changes X owner Elon Musk has made when asked if he thought Musk was being a “good steward:”
No. Nor do I think he acted right after realizing his timing was bad.
Nor do I think the board should have forced the sale. It all went south. But it happened and all we can do now is build something to avoid that ever happening again. So I’m happy Jay and team and nostr devs exist and building it.
When you own the sandbox, you can say what you want — at least within reason.
If you are already on BlueSky, you can find me at @patricksplace, the same handle as on X, with a little extra after it as you’ll see if you click that link.
For those of you who used Twitter when it was still Twitter, BlueSky will seem very, very familiar. It’ll even seem like the “good old days” of that former birdie platform before a series of ridiculous changes got in the way of user experience.
I hope you’ll give it a try. I’d love to know what you think of it.