Bluesky has rapidly gained traction in just two years since its launch in 2021, reaching 2 million users in November 2024. This is especially impressive, considering it’s been closed off and is still gated with its invite-only format.
The platform became popular as users looked for alternatives to Twitter/X in 2022. It attracted users with its similar look, small community, and focus on decentralization.
A graph showing the growth in popularity of Bluesky
Originating from the vision of Twitter/X’s former CEO, Jack Dorsey, and led by CEO Jay Graber, Bluesky offers an open, user-empowered platform. With its commitment to a decentralized model, symbolized by its blue butterfly logo, Bluesky stands out, promising more control and freedom for its users.
In this article, we explore Bluesky’s roster of features (so far), broken up by category and highlighting how they cater to the evolving needs of today’s social media users.
Moderation system features
Bluesky constantly reviews and evolves its content moderation to maintain a respectful and safe online environment. It combines user-driven reporting with human and automated review processes to address content concerns effectively.
Report-and-review feedback loop
On Bluesky, any user can report content or other accounts that violate the platform’s guidelines through its report-and-review system. To report a post, click on the post and select the ‘Report’ option. Specify the reason for the report, which the moderation team will then review.
Human moderators then review each report, ensuring a fair and thorough evaluation process. Bluesky also uses automated tools for the initial flagging of potentially harmful content. This combination ensures efficiency while maintaining human oversight.
Bluesky’s ever-evolving moderation approach isn’t perfect, but it demonstrates a commitment to a balanced and secure user experience. This system is pivotal in fostering a trustworthy and user-centric social media space.
Learn more about Bluesky’s approach to moderation here.
Interaction control features
Like moderation, these features protect users’ experience by empowering them to manage their interactions and content visibility on the platform.
Beyond reporting, users can also create lists to block or mute other accounts and content. These lists can be community-driven, providing collective control over the content seen on the feed. You can also filter your content preferences in this section.
To use moderation lists, click on the “≡” on the left-hand side and select Moderation. Or, go to your account settings, scroll to find the ‘Moderation’ section, select ‘Moderation lists’, and add users or content you wish to block or mute. You can also see accounts you’ve previously blocked or muted in the Moderation section.
Self-labeling of posts
Bluesky allows users to self-label their posts, especially those containing sensitive content. This feature respects viewer discretion and promotes responsible content sharing. While creating a post, select the ‘Label’ option to categorize your content appropriately.
This feature lets authors control who can reply to their posts, enhancing personal control over interactions. When posting, select the ‘Reply Controls’ option and choose who can reply (everyone, followers, or no one).
Bluesky’s interaction controls are a testament to Bluesky’s vision of a platform where user agency and respectful engagement are paramount, creating a uniquely adaptable and considerate digital community.
Bluesky users are allowed a level of customization over their profiles not often seen on other social media.
Bluesky offers the unique feature of custom domains, allowing users to personalize their handles with their own domain names.
This feature adds a layer of personalization and identity to the user experience on the platform. To set up a custom domain, go to your account settings, select the ‘Change handle’ option, and then “I have my own domain.” Then, follow the instructions to link your domain to your Bluesky account. This enables you to use your custom domain as your handle on Bluesky.
For more detailed instructions, check here.
Advanced feed and thread preferences
Bluesky allows users to customize their feed and thread viewing preferences, offering a more tailored user experience. You can find custom feeds to join by clicking on the # symbol in the menu or at the bottom of the app.
In the app settings, users can adjust preferences for viewing their feed and threads, such as sorting by most recent or most popular.
“Hide Post” feature
The ‘Hide Post’ feature lets users remove unwanted content from their feeds. If you see a post you don’t want to see again, click on it and select the ‘Hide Post’ option. The post will then be removed from your feed.
User experience features
Bluesky has made several improvements designed for the modern social media aficionado to improve user experience.
In-app video and music player
Bluesky includes a video and music player for media content from platforms like YouTube and Spotify. When you encounter a video or music link in a post, click on it to play the content directly within the Bluesky app.
The ‘Likes’ tab allows users to view posts they have liked, facilitating easier access to favored content. Access your profile and select the ‘Likes’ tab to view all your liked posts.
This feature suggests users to mention when typing “@”, making it easier to tag others in posts. Start typing “@” in a post, and a list of suggested users will appear for you to choose from.
An emoji picker has been included in the web version of Bluesky, enhancing expressiveness in posts. When composing a post on the web, click the emoji icon to select and add emojis to your post.
Bluesky’s mobile app now supports notifications, informing users about relevant activities like new follows and content engagement. Enable notifications in the app settings to start receiving alerts for activities like mentions, likes, and replies.
Rate limits have been implemented to stabilize network traffic and ensure a smooth user experience. This feature works in the background to manage the data flow and might limit the number of actions (like posts or follows) you can perform quickly.
For a more detailed exploration of these features, visit the official Bluesky website.
Bluesky vs. Twitter/X vs. Meta’s Threads feature comparison
If you’re wondering how similar (or different) Bluesky is from similar apps, here’s a high-level feature comparison.
With its X-like interface, Bluesky is best for users seeking a familiar experience but with more control over their data and community engagement. Being more established, Twitter/X offers a wider range of features and a larger user base. Meta’s Threads, while similar in interface to Twitter/X, is in a less complete state but backed by the robust infrastructure of Meta.
Want to check out Bluesky’s features?
We give out invites whenever someone on the team gets them, so fill out this form, and we’ll send one over when we can.