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BekahHW for OpenSauced

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What is Bluesky Social Network? And why are developers excited about it?

It seems like my Twitter feed is all about folks joining or asking about invites to Bluesky. I was lucky enough to get an invite this week to be able to check it out, and the user experience is a lot like Twitter, but what’s going on behind the scenes is really interesting.

What is Bluesky Social Network

Bluesky Social is a decentralized social media platform with a mission to create an open social media ecosystem where developers can build and innovate, and users have more control over which services they use. Unlike Twitter, Bluesky isn't committed to any stack in its entirety and sees use cases for blockchains, but it's not a blockchain.

“The biggest and long term goal is to build a durable and open protocol for public conversation. That it not be owned by any one organization but contributed by as many as possible. And that it is born and evolved on the internet with the same principles.” - Jack Dorsey

Bluesky is build upon the AT Protocol, also known as Authenticated Transfer Protocol– a new technology that allows people to transfer digital assets and data between different blockchain networks. Think of a blockchain as a kind of digital ledger that records all the transactions that happen on it. However, each blockchain is like its own separate island with its own ledger, and it can be hard to move things between these islands.

The AT Protocol solves this problem by creating a way for people to securely move things between these different blockchain networks without needing to go through middlemen or other companies that might slow things down or charge extra fees. Instead, the AT Protocol uses special tools to check that everything being transferred is authentic and that it has not been tampered with.

Here’s another way to think about what AT Protocol means: Let's say you live in the United States and you want to send $100 to your friend who lives in Europe. You have a bank account with Bank A in the US, while your friend has a bank account with Bank B in Europe. Normally, you would need to go through an intermediary, such as a wire transfer service, to transfer the money between the two banks. This process can be slow and costly, as the intermediary may charge fees and the exchange rate may not be favorable.

However, with the AT Protocol, you could transfer the $100 directly from your bank account to your friend's bank account, without needing to go through an intermediary.

Benefits of Bluesky

There’s a lot of buzz around some of the differences between Twitter and Bluesky. There are several benefits of using Bluesky over traditional social media platforms:

  • User control and privacy: With a decentralized architecture, users have more control over their own data and can choose to interact with others without relying on a single centralized platform. This approach may also offer better user privacy since user data is distributed across multiple servers and not owned or managed by a single company.

  • Innovation and competition: By creating an open standard for social media, developers have more opportunities to build new apps and services that can interoperate with existing ones. This could encourage innovation and competition in the social media space, leading to better products and services for users.

  • Reduced risk of censorship: A decentralized architecture could potentially reduce the risk of censorship since there is no single entity or central point of control. If one server or node is taken down or censored, users can still connect with each other through other servers or nodes.

What are Devs Building?

There’s already a variety of open source projects being built for Bluesky, including bots, tools, and applications. Here are a few examples:

  • RSS feeds. If you’re not on Bluesky yet, but you know the handle of someone who is and you want to know what they’re talking about, there’s a way to do that. Or if you’re on Bluesky and you want to share your content outside of the platform, you can share your content through an RSS reader. You can check out Bluestream, a TypeScript + Deno project live here.

  • Liked Posts: Want to see what others like? You can find that all in one place thanks to Bluesky Liked Posts, a TypeScript project that allows you to add a username to an input, which then displays all the liked posts in a feed. You can see it in action here.

gif of my Bluesky feed

  • Polling: Sometimes it’s nice to be able to poll your followers. provides that feature and prevents duplicate votes by allowing one vote per IP address. Check out this TypeScript + Deno project.

Screenshot of my poll

  • Chrome Extension: Want to post to Bluesky without leaving your browser tab? There’s a chrome extension for that! OmniATP makes it a quicker experience and ensures that you don’t get sucked into the timeline of all your favorite followers. And since it’s an open source project, you can check out the repo and contribute to this Vue + TypeScript project.
  • And just to spread some positivity to the timeline, there’s the Hugfairy bot that will send hugs to anyone on the platform.

Hugfairy image

If you’re interested in contributing directly to Bluesky, check out their atproto repo. If you want to get started with the Bluesky api, check out Alice’s starter kit template. And if you’re building with it, submitting PRs, or writing code, amplify your code by highlighting it on OpenSauced so others can see it! What would you like to see next from Bluesky? Let us know in the comments below, and maybe you’ll see it on our highlights soon.

Top comments (34)

lobocode profile image
Vitor Lobo

Hey folks, we've got some issues here. In short, BlueSky doesn't bring that many new things to the table, since most of its features were already available through the Twitter API. As for the proposal to integrate with Blockchain, I smell something fishy here (like an intention to implement some kind of cryptocurrency). And why create another decentralized network with the same goals instead of joining the Fediverse? I wonder. Maybe the intention isn't really to benefit the users (but rather the company itself). I'm quite skeptical of the project and honestly don't see many advantages. That being said, come join Mastodon!

bdougieyo profile image
Brian Douglas

Skepticism is healthy. I just want to point out that the twitter api is now a paid interaction removing access of one of its best features. BlueSky having an open API will drive innovation for AT protocol.

brianmcbride profile image
Brian McBride

Although if bluesky goes crypo, wouldn't that mean at some point someone has to pay for those features as well? Advertising? So far, most everything based on cryptocurrency have not done super well.

nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor

I came across a repo from @wesbos where he uses the Bluesky API in a CLI. Pretty neat!

GitHub logo wesbos / blue-sky-cli

Playing with ATPROTO to pull and post to blue sky

🟦☁️ BlueSky CLI

This was a little CLI app view your feed and post, now I'm just using it as my playground for the AT protocol API.

So far it:

  1. Posts skeets

  2. Gets timeline in CLI

  3. Is a bot that replies to mentions and follows of the incorrect handle.

  4. Make a .env file

  5. Put your ATPROTO_USERNAME and ATPROTO_PASS in there.

  6. run npm run dev

Kinda fun

Screenshot 2023-04-25 at 11 55 18 AM

bdougieyo profile image
Brian Douglas

That name glides off the tongue. "BlueSky CLI"

bekahhw profile image
BekahHW • Edited

treys dope gif

thumbone profile image
Bernd Wechner • Edited

Only interesting if it promises to join the fediverse. It can do that of course by supporting standards like activitypub or conversely contributing to FOSS projects in the fediverse to grant them support of a new (if argued, better) protocol. Prime features of interest (which, if lacking, lose it for many of us) are open, transparent (so FOSS) and collaborative (not go it alone want to dominate with closed source models).

sgharms profile image
Steven G. Harms • Edited

At the risk of yet another Lucy and Charlie Brown at the football moment overseen by the man who lead Twitter stock price to being flat enough to iron clothes on, let me say: "No, thanks."

Write software for them? For free?
Write code that's yet again another rehash of fetch with basic key-based authentication? It's not even a good learning problem.

bekahhw profile image


kjsisco profile image

Wow this looks great! This fits right in with chainpages. Web3 is going strong.

leob profile image

But why not Mastodon then (and "Fediverse", as others have remarked) ? Why create even more fragmentation and 'options' - isn't the world already complex enough? I always say (it's my personal motto) - less is more :-D

adriens profile image

Great article, hopefully I'll gain access 🤞

rachelfazio profile image
Rachel Fazio

This is very cool!

jamesajayi profile image
James Ajayi

It will be quite interesting to see how BlueSky unfolds in the coming weeks. Thanks for this piece.

differentsmoke profile image
Pablo Barría Urenda

It is 2023. If you don't understand the Blockchain is a scam then there's no help for you.

echeverriaq profile image

Blockchain is a scam? It is noticeable that you only talk about the things you know in depth... Very deep.

differentsmoke profile image
Pablo Barría Urenda

he explains it better than I'll ever be able to.

Thread Thread
echeverriaq profile image

If you need almost three hours in a forum to explain why the Blockchain is a scam... And what's more, a third person has to explain it... it's because you're not very clear.

... And at the end you'll also explain why javascript's Array.prototype.forEach() is a complete scam.

Thread Thread
differentsmoke profile image
Pablo Barría Urenda

Well, ok. TL;DR version:
The Blockchain is only good at preventing tampering of a ledger in "zero trust" situations, provided certain border conditions are satisfied, border conditions it has no way of actually ensuring (51% attack), just of promoting (i.e. it is cheaper to work for Bitcoin than against it, but this presupposes the attacker's only incentive is to make money).

Any other uses for it are really only touted so people will invest in various Blockchain based projects which serve only as speculative assets (people don't actually buy things with crypto other than, at some point, things that were illegal). Also, the storage of any sensitive information is completely out of the question since it is a publicly readable ledger. Also, sometimes you want to change information.

Tamper resistant records can be achieved much, much cheaply, simply by trusting the parties that store them. This is a political problem, not a technical one. Also, deflationary currencies are a bad idea that reward the rich and punish the poor.

Thread Thread
echeverriaq profile image

Ignorance is very daring: the Blockchain is a technology that above all allows decentralization... decentralization in general and, therefore, return power to the people. But especially decentralize two things:
1) Internet.
2) Money, making dust, that pyramid scam that is fiat money.

And obviously only from those who control the System and its hitmen, the Blockchain is a problem.

For the rest, the fields of application are practically unlimited, leading to a process of decentralization to all of them:

Thread Thread
differentsmoke profile image
Pablo Barría Urenda

Just because I'm done with this conversation, I will finish my arguments by pointing out two things:

  1. The Internet is already decentralized. That was the whole point of its creation, to have a network with no central node. If it doesn't seem that way to you, if you look around and see big centralized hubs, let me remind you that some problems are political, not technical. This happens in crypto too, that's why you have whales.

  2. One of the applications touted in those pages are medical records. One of the important aspects of medical records is that they have to be kept private. This is fundamental. Data in the blockchain is public by definition. These are not serious proposals, and it would do you a great deal of good to try to work your way through how each of them would actually work (spoiler alert: you won't be able to, and it won't be because you're not smart enough... these are just very dumb proposals).

Thread Thread
echeverriaq profile image

1) It is very miserable to argue that those who think differently than one are spoilers... That is cowardly.

2) To say that the internet is already decentralized with stories like Facebook, Google or GitHub is foolish: the internet is increasingly centralized... And some of you like it to be.

3) saying the nonsense that the blockchain is not useful for medical records because they are public, is like saying that bitcoins are for public use because the chain of blocks is public... There you have reached the peak of your own inability to think

andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown 🇨🇦

It sounds good on paper but until that AT Protocol is shown to us how it works and we can implement our our Personal Data Repos (PDRs) I'm a skeptic.

reinaldocoelho profile image
Reinaldo Coelho Sartorelli

Whats de diferences between BlueSky and Mastodon? And why BlueSky over Mastodon??

koteisaev profile image
Kote Isaev - #StandWithUkraine

I see only single possible noticeable practical difference for user between Mastodon and AT Protocol, if it will be fully implemented as described - if server is down, you still have your account and can keep your digital identity traveling across servers.
It matters as it sometimes Mastodon servers can gone into abyss, e. g. if server owner can have lack of enthusiasm or just got too busy with own life, and just disable it because loss of "belief in humanity" or just because can't afford it anymore if server grown "beyond their pocket".
But as I know, there is no multiple servers across AT Protocol yet, only BlueSky?
Other difference is within activitypub conceptual level - there is no such thing as "algorithm-based feed as service". AT Protocol, if will be implemented as described, will have various services of activity feeds - simple or more complicated, AI based, interests-based, followership-based, you can imagine. I just not sure that many users really care how exactly the feed where new users to follow listed is combined.
Both Mastodon and BlueSky, for me, lack a simple (for non-IT guys) and reliable way to an official account of something (public figure, celebrity, brand, company, media outlet, NGO, etc.) somehow labeled in the feeds as one, and protected from imposting.

denniskahlerlon profile image

So... anybody got an invite for me ^_^?

emmysteven profile image
Emmy Steven

Interesting times ahead!

Please if you have an invite, please share with me

andrenascentes profile image
André Nascentes

How can I create my own server and invite people to join it?