We all know that Twitter is working with a small team of researchers to build an open and decentralized standard for social media, under the project called Bluesky. Recently Twitter has announced its first major update from its decentralized social networking effort, Bluesky. The Bluesky team presented a review of the decentralized web ecosystem. Also informed that it is hoping to find a team leader in the coming months.
Previously, Twitter CEO stated that he wanted Twitter to stop being a self-contained platform and to become a decentralized system, Changing social media as we know it. Which eventually resulted in the Bluesky project. Bluesky’s recent review follows Twitter CEO discussing with Bluesky when he called it a “standard for the public conversation layer of the internet.”
Twitters decentralized social network project, Bluesky’s review details:
Project Bluesky review outlines a variety of known decentralized systems. It mentions ActivityPub, which is an open and decentralized social networking protocol that is based on Pump.io’s ActivityPump Protocol. It gives a client/server API for creating, updating, and deleting content. along with a federated server-to-server API for delivering notifications and content information. Also it is well known for powering the social network Mastodon.
Also, it includes the messaging standard XMPP. It is a universal messaging standard. XMPP is the open standard for messaging. It powers WhatsApp and also now-defunct Google Talk. The review also includes a decentralized project led by the World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
The report also says how these systems handle some key social network elements such as discoverability, moderation, and privacy. Also, it mentions how services based on them are able to scale up, and make money and also interoperate. But the report does not include any information about how Bluesky itself might operate.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said about Bluesky
He informed that the project Bluesky may take some time to build. If it succeeds in making a protocol. Then there is a possibility that the system is going to be created from scratch or built on an existing standard like ActivityPub.
He further added in a tweet that ” We are doing our part by funding an initiative around an open decentralized standard for social media. With the project, our goal is to be a client for that standard for the public conversation layer of the internet.
Dorsey says that he was inspired partly by Techdirt founder Mike Masnick’s proposal, Who has promoted a standard of “protocols, not platforms” for the internet.
Moreover, The report includes who’s been working on Bluesky. It was authored by Jay Graber, creator of the event-organizing platform Happening. Along with them Mastodon developer Eugen Rochko and InterPlanetary File System project lead Molly Mackinlay.
Decentralized social network system
Twitter CEO Dorsey says that a decentralized social network system has the ability to solve some important problems with social media especially coming to moderation issues. Decentralized systems can help in enforcing the global policy to address abuse and misleading information so that such content is unlikely to scale over the long-term. All without placing far too much burden on people”
Decentralized systems already exist. The best known decentralized system is Mastodon, Composed of an individual or community-run servers loosely connected through a system called the “fediverse.” It is based on an open-source networking protocol called ActivityPub.
Dorsey says” if Bluesky comes up with a viable protocol then Twitter would benefit from using it. Because ” It allows us to access and contribute to a larger corpus of public conversation. And we can focus our efforts on building open algorithms that will promote healthy conversations, and also it will move us to be far more innovative than in the past.
He didn’t confirm this, it offers Twitter an escape from its content moderation issues. Because if Twitter is just a client, then it is much less responsible for the content people post online. He argues that the social media value depends on providing recommendation algorithms rather than acting just as hosting content.
Decentralization often is not profitable
The Bluesky review also indicates the fact that decentralization often isn’t profitable. The reports show some monetization options like membership fees and cryptocurrency microtransactions. But it also states that many decentralized systems work on volunteer work and donations.
This doesn’t seem like an ideal plan for a platform supporting commercial networks like Twitter. The majority of Twitter users might not care about these web protocols. But Blue Sky’s success chances will be much higher if it works with a community of experts instead of against it.
Many industry experts say decentralization may not automatically solve problems like hate speech and harassment. Whereas communities like mastodon have hands-on experience dealing with such issues even if they haven’t solved them completely.
We may not see twitter plans for a universal standard anytime soon, as it took such a long time between Bluesky’s announcement and this latest review step. let alone see Twitter adopt that standard.
Twitter’s move into decentralized systems might be self-serving, but if the Bluesky project produces an alternative to the current platform. Twitter could potentially do more good by contributing resources to existing projects. Whereas, Bluesky’s latest review shows that it is trying to build on what people in the field have already discovered. If it succeeds then it will be good news for millions of users.
In 2019 Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Twitter decentralized the social network plan by a project called Bluesky. And it funded a small team of researchers with the goal of making Twitter a client for that standard. Recently the Bluesky team has released a review of the decentralized web ecosystem.