Bluesky Launches Federation, Allowing Anyone To Run Their Own Server


Social network Bluesky, a competitor to X, Threads, Mastodon, and others, is making a significant move by opening up its federation. This development comes after the network’s recent public launch, allowing anyone to run their own server that connects to Bluesky’s network. This decentralized model of social networking is gaining traction due to growing consumer demand for more control over personal data.

Key Takeaway

Bluesky’s decision to open up federation allows for greater user control and customization, catering to the growing demand for more sustainable and moderated social networking platforms.

Decentralized Social Networking

The move to open up federation means that individuals can now host their own data, manage their own accounts, and set their own rules. This model, similar to Mastodon’s, is underpinned by a different protocol on Bluesky, keeping the two networks separate for now.

Consumer Demand for Data Control

The interest in federation stems from the increasing demand for more control over personal data, particularly in light of recent changes in the social media landscape. After Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and its transformation into X, some users have been seeking alternatives that offer more sustainable and controlled environments, such as Mastodon and Bluesky.

Bluesky’s Journey

Bluesky, initially funded by Twitter under Jack Dorsey, has since become its own company and has recently transitioned from a private beta to a public launch. With over 5 million registered users, the network’s decision to open up federation could further drive its growth as users interested in self-hosting can now set up their own servers to cater to their specific needs or communities.

Differences from Mastodon

Bluesky uses a newer social networking protocol, the AT Protocol, distinguishing it from Mastodon and other networks that use ActivityPub. The company highlights that Bluesky users can participate in the global conversation and have more control over their experience, including custom feeds and composable moderation.

Technical Considerations

Those interested in hosting their own service will need some technical know-how. Bluesky has provided resources for developers and administrators to facilitate this process. Initially, federation will be open to those interested in running smaller servers, with plans to expand to larger servers in the future.

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