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X and Threads rival Bluesky to roll out full hashtag support and user-controlled content

Bluesky CEO Jay Graber promises enhanced hashtag support, emphasising user control amidst Meta's political content controversy. The platform's unique approach challenges centralised algorithms of rivals like X and Threads.

By: MD IJAJ KHAN
Updated on: Feb 15 2024, 13:39 IST
Bluesky CEO Jay Graber announces groundbreaking hashtag support and user-controlled content on the emerging platform. (AP)

Bluesky CEO, Jay Graber, has announced the imminent introduction of comprehensive hashtag support on the emerging platform, signalling the next evolution in user engagement that has boosted its profile as one of the strongest emerging rivals to billionaire Elon Musk's X. In a recent interview on the Techmeme Ride Home Podcast, Graber emphasised the logical progression of "linkifying" hashtags to enhance the user experience.

The new platform, having recently opened its virtual doors, is gaining traction with nearly 5 million users onboarded. Now, Graber has shared exciting developments, revealing plans for the rollout of moderation services. This advancement aims to empower third-party services, enabling them to contribute to the network by building labelers or annotators, The Verge reported.

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Bluesky vs. Meta

The timing of Bluesky's rise coincides with Meta's controversial decision to eliminate political content from its recommendations on Instagram and Threads, Meta's new text-based X-like app. Graber seized this moment to highlight Bluesky's distinctive approach, criticising the pitfalls of a single algorithm controlled by a monolithic entity.

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Graber explained that Bluesky's commitment to algorithmic choice from the outset allows users to customise their feed preferences actively. Unlike Meta's closed-box algorithm, Bluesky users can curate their social experience. They have the option to immerse themselves in a highly political environment, follow customised feeds, or even opt for a non-political, tranquil feed featuring friends' posts and images.

Bluesky's flexibility extends beyond mere content selection. Users can seamlessly toggle between different modes, adapting their experience based on personal preferences. This stands in stark contrast to centralised platforms like Meta's Facebook, Instagram, and Threads.

Bluesky's Unique Proposition

Bluesky's decentralised approach draws parallels with Mastodon, an open-source Twitter alternative. It employs the AT Protocol, distinguishing itself from Mastodon's reliance on ActivityPub. Bluesky's decentralised service provides users with a unique level of control over their experience, echoing Graber's vision for a more open and adaptable social media landscape.

While Threads plans to integrate with ActivityPub, Meta's moderation decisions will universally impact all users, unlike Bluesky's user-centric model. As Bluesky gains momentum, offering a refreshing alternative, the centralised Threads and other social media entities may find themselves overshadowed in a landscape that values individualised content curation over algorithmic conformity.

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First Published Date: 15 Feb, 13:15 IST
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