Bluesky Ends Invite-Only Memberships—Here’s How It Compares With Other X Competitors


Bluesky will now be open to all users after the social network dropped its invite-only membership system, the company announced Tuesday, as Bluesky continues to compete with other X alternatives—including Threads and Mastodon—nearly a year after former Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey helped launch the platform.

Key Facts

Bluesky—which claims to have just over 3 million users—is now available for any interested user and will include its new “federation” feature by the end of February, according to the company.

The “federation” feature will enable Bluesky users and developers to customize the platform, allowing them to prioritize posts from specific users and toggle moderation settings that can “hide,” “warn” or “show” content that includes nudity or violence, among other features, chief executive Jay Graber told the Washington Post.

The social network has continued to grow since launching last February, according to the data analysis firm SimilarWeb, which noted Bluesky experienced surges in user sign-ups after X announced monthly fees and a limit for the number of posts users can read each day.

Despite the surges, a Bluesky page tracking user engagement suggests the number of users posting on the platform each day has declined over the last month.


Other social media platforms competing as alternatives to X have experienced stable growth over the last year. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors last week that Threads now has 130 million monthly users, despite a sharp decline in active users after the platform’s launch. Mastodon, which implements a feature similar to Bluesky’s “federation,” recorded 1.8 million monthly users in October. The network—which says it has just over 8.7 million users—experienced a similar surge in user sign-ups in the months after Elon Musk took over X in October 2022.

Big Number

540 million. That’s the number of monthly users on X, including 225 million daily active users. chief executive Linda Yaccarino claimed in September.

Key Background

Bluesky launched in February last year, and was promoted as an alternative for X users who criticized Musk’s takeover of the platform. Prospective Bluesky users could join a waitlist or receive an invitation to join the site, as existing users received one code per week to recruit new users. The waitlist totaled as many as 1.9 million people by May, a company spokesperson told Business Insider. Bluesky is a “decentralized” platform, which means user data is stored on independent servers instead of servers owned by the company. Users are able to create their own servers and switch without losing their data, according to Graber. The platform was announced as a project by Dorsey in 2019, though Dorsey does not own the company and instead serves on its board. Several celebrities and politicians made the move to Bluesky shortly after it launched, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Chrissy Teigen and Kumail Nanjiani, among others.

Further Reading

What Is Bluesky? Here’s What To Know About Ex-Twitter CEO’s New Invite-Only Social Network (Forbes)

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