Bluesky, the decentralized alternative to Twitter/X, has announced that users will now have the option to opt out of the public web interface. This move comes after receiving backlash from users who were concerned about the exposure of their posts on the public web.
Bluesky is changing its course by allowing users to opt out of the public web interface due to user feedback and concerns about privacy.
A Delay in the Public Web Interface
Last month, Bluesky unveiled plans to open up a public web interface, enabling anyone to view posts on its platform, even without an invitation to the app. However, the company did not meet the expected deadline and received negative feedback from users who were disappointed that their accounts couldn’t be set to private mode.
In response to this feedback, Bluesky has decided to postpone the launch of the public web interface. Instead, they will introduce an opt-out tool that allows users to choose not to participate in the public view.
Addressing Privacy Concerns
Bluesky subtly reminded users that their posts, profiles, and likes are all considered public data, even though users believed they would have the option to secure their accounts before the public launch. The company acknowledges that allowing privacy settings before making the platform public would have been a better approach.
The opt-out tool provided by Bluesky will only affect the logged-out view of the app itself, but the company recommends that other third-party apps also respect this setting. However, Bluesky cannot enforce compliance with this recommendation, indicating that a private mode for user profiles would have ensured better account privacy.
Plans for the Future
Bluesky intends to share details on how users can utilize the opt-out tool to safeguard their privacy. They will also provide guidelines for developers to ensure compatibility with other apps on the open network.
Bluesky’s decision to launch a public web interface aims to keep it relevant in the conversation surrounding Twitter/X alternatives and attract a wider user base. However, the emergence of Threads, with its 100 million monthly active users and support for ActivityPub, a protocol powering decentralized platforms like Mastodon, raises questions about Bluesky’s initial bet on the future of decentralized social media.
Despite Bluesky’s own AT Protocol, ActivityPub remains a dominant force, highlighted by Instagram’s interest in entering this space. Bluesky’s popularity has seen a decline, evidenced by the decreasing value of invitations on online marketplaces. While the platform has introduced automated moderation tools and reached one million users, the lack of public accessibility has led some users to explore alternatives like Mastodon and Threads.
Bluesky’s response to user concerns and the introduction of the opt-out tool demonstrates its willingness to adapt and address privacy issues. However, only time will tell if these changes are enough to restore user confidence and keep Bluesky competitive in the evolving landscape of decentralized social media.