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Bluesky grows to 5.6 million users, will launch DM and video features

The service is also prioritizing more anti-harassment tools to help users weed out trolls.

The service is also prioritizing more anti-harassment tools to help users weed out trolls.

The logo of social media platform Bluesky. (Graphic by The Desk)
The logo of social media platform Bluesky. (Graphic by The Desk)

Progressive social media platform Bluesky says it will soon debut a slate of new features that will allow users to upload videos, send direct messages to each other and improve their custom feeds.

As described, the features arriving to Bluesky in the coming months resemble ones already found on X (formerly Twitter), the social media platform established nearly two decades ago that undoubtedly served as inspiration for Bluesky’s founding.

The majority of Bluesky users appear to be Internet citizens who flocked to the service after growing increasingly frustrated with the direction of Twitter, later X, under Elon Musk’s ownership, The tech mogul purchased Twitter for $44 billion in late 2022, then began dismantling the social network with a series of ever-shifting content and behavior policies coupled with questionable hiring and firing practices.

Bluesky benefitted from Twitter’s chaos, with the social platform growing to serve 5.6 million users. The majority of Bluesky’s most-active users are left-of-center, and amplify progressive news stories, memes and other content. As on Twitter, Bluesky users are not afraid of public disagreements, and express their disagreement with contrarian viewpoints by shouting them down and signal boosting them as a form of intimidation.

Bluesky itself aims to empower users who want to curb their exposure to some of that behavior. The platform offers a suite of tools that it says are designed to help users block those “who want to troll, harass, and just make other people’s lives miserable.” Bluesky says the tools provide granular anti-harassment capabilities across its platform, and additional features are coming in the next few months that give users even more ability to avoid content they don’t want to see.

Since its founding, Bluesky has made all user contributions public by default, with no ability to make “private” accounts. While that isn’t changing, Bluesky says it is working on a direct message feature that will allow its users to move certain conversations off public feeds. Users will be able to choose who can send direct messages and who cannot.

The platform is also getting ready to launch a new video feature that will allow users to upload clips up to 9o-seconds long.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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