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Private Beta Update & Roadmap

June 2, 2023

by The Bluesky Team

Since our last update, quite a bit has changed. Just a few months ago in February, we only had a couple hundred users, and in April, we crossed 50,000 users. We recently passed 100,000 users, and are excited that so many people have joined us. Our priorities continue to be a focus on moderation and curation to ensure a safe and pleasant environment for users, and protocol work to launch federation.

Recently Released Features

  • Custom feeds. Users can have more ownership over their social media experience by picking the algorithms that power their feeds. So far, third-party developers have created feeds ranging from mutuals only, first posts from new users, cat photos, the #nba hashtag, and more.
  • Blocks and mutelists. Blocks on Bluesky prevent interaction, and organizations and community leaders can maintain shared mutelists for others to subscribe to.
  • More fine-grained content moderation controls. Users are able to select hide, warn, or show for content categories ranging from nudity to impersonation.
  • Custom domains as handles. Both individuals and organizations can set their account handle to their domain, creating a unique identifier across the network. Read our tutorial here for how to set this up.
  • Production desktop app. We launched the desktop web app at https://bsky.app/.
  • Invite codes per account. We added server-level tooling to distribute invites on a regular cadence. Previously, accounts did not have invite codes of their own.
  • Accessibility improvements. We added alt text to images, an improved dark mode, and more.
  • App passwords. We released this as a short-term solution for people to use with third-party apps while we continue to work on Single Sign-On (SSO).
the tab for custom feeds in the app
The tab for custom feeds in the app.
the moderation section in the app
The section for moderation settings in the app.

The AT Protocol Developer Ecosystem

As the number of beta testers on Bluesky continues to grow, so too does the size of our developer community. Recent updates from our team include:

  • Open-sourced client. We published the code that powers the Bluesky social app publicly on GitHub and are accepting community contributions (but please read the rules and guidelines first!).
  • Feed generator starter kit. We published a GitHub repository with a template for developers to build custom feeds.
  • Community documentation. We’ve published a community page on our protocol documentation site with links to a quick start guide, community projects, and developer groups to join.

To see projects from community developers, you can visit this page, or if you have a Bluesky account, check out the @atproto.com account. Some highlights include:

  • Flipboard added Bluesky integration, so now you can browse Bluesky content from within Flipboard
  • Skylink is a Chrome and Firefox extension that detects if the domain is linked to a Bluesky profile as you browse the web, which really exemplifies the “social internet”
  • Atlas maps the social clusters on the network, and is a fun way of visualizing communities joining the beta
  • SkyFeed surfaced custom feeds even before we released them in the official Bluesky app

Roadmap and Growth

A few weeks ago, we intentionally slowed our invite roll-out while we built more moderation tooling and capacity for users on the app. We staffed a content moderation team with shifts that cover a 24/7 schedule, and consulted with trust and safety experts to establish new processes and policies to support a growing userbase. We’ve resumed sending out daily invites to the waitlist, which is where the majority of users already on Bluesky received their invites. For those who don’t know someone personally with an invite code, the waitlist is the fastest way to receive a code, though please be patient as we work through the list.

We recently shared our technical architecture for federation and are releasing a sandbox environment for developers to test soon.

Thanks to all who have used the feedback form within the app; we’ve heard your product feedback over the last few months. In the near future, you can expect these features and improvements as we move towards federation:

  • Improved labeling, reporting, and related moderation tooling
  • Account portability between servers
  • Updated community guidelines for the app
  • Protocol documentation and specifications

Meanwhile, we’re actively hiring. If you’re eager to join our effort to build the open social web, please apply to one of the listings on our jobs page.

Giving Feedback

When the population of beta testers was even in the tens of thousands, it was still fairly manageable for the team to receive bug reports and requests from tags and mentions directly in the app. However, this method of feedback does not scale, so we’ve implemented some changes to our preferred feedback routes. Please do not tag the entire team’s personal profiles for bug reports or support requests in the app — this makes it difficult to surface important notifications. Instead:

  1. To flag specific posts or profiles for the team’s attention, please use the in-app reporting feature. Our mods review every report we receive.
  2. For bug reports or app feedback, please use the feedback form in the app itself (located in the side menu on mobile or the right side on desktop).
  3. If you’re familiar with GitHub, you can also file an issue on our repos, though please read our contribution guidelines in the README first.
  4. For support requests, please email us at [email protected].
  5. For security reports, please email us at [email protected] or visit https://bsky.app/.well-known/security.txt.

We‘re hiring!

Are you a React Native expert? Have you written multiple mobile apps? Are you confident building animations, gestures, UI state managers, and everything in between? Then we want to hire you!

Apply to Bluesky