What Is Bluesky and How to Use it for Your Brand

Written by Andra
Written by Andra

Content Writer at SocialBee

Are you looking to expand your brand’s digital footprint on a new social media platform? What is Bluesky, you might ask? 

Bluesky, a decentralized social network designed as an alternative to X (formerly known as Twitter), represents a breakthrough in digital communication. Launched in 2023, the social platform provides a space for genuine interaction and connection for both individuals and brands. 

Initiated by the former Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, Bluesky’s development was driven by the goal of offering users more control over their data and the content they engage with on social apps, catering to the growing demand for more transparent and user-focused online platforms.

This emerging platform presents a fresh opportunity for businesses to pioneer in a less saturated environment, currently the platform having 4.1 million users. As we delve into the benefits of integrating Bluesky into your social media strategy, let’s explore how this platform can change the way your company interacts with its audience.

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Short Summary

  • Bluesky is a decentralized social media platform that offers a new way for brands to engage with audiences through genuine, authentic interactions, differentiating itself from traditional social networks.
  • Companies that join Bluesky early have the advantage of establishing thought leadership, setting engagement standards, and connecting with niche communities before the platform becomes mainstream.
  • The platform encourages less promotional content and more meaningful conversations, allowing brands to innovate their content strategy and build a loyal community around their values and insights.
  • Bluesky allows brands to use custom domains for their profiles, enhancing brand recognition and credibility within the digital space.
  • Leveraging a tool like SocialBee can streamline managing your Bluesky account alongside other social media platforms, ensuring a cohesive and efficient digital marketing strategy.

What Is Bluesky?

Bluesky is a decentralized social media platform designed to offer an alternative to traditional, centralized social networks like X (Twitter). 

It’s designed to let people have more control over their personal information, who they talk to, and what they see online. Unlike traditional social media, where one company makes all the decisions, Bluesky allows its individual users and groups to set their own rules.

Here are Bluesky’s key characterstics:

  • Bluesky is easy to use: It’s all about sharing short messages, up to 300 characters, kind of like tweeting. This means you can post quick thoughts or updates.
  • It looks familiar: If you were previous Twitter users, Bluesky will feel quite similar, making it easy to get the hang of.
  • Account portability: The technology behind Bluesky, called the AT Protocol, is open for anyone to check out. This means people can see how it works and even suggest improvements.
  • Domain usernames: You can use your own website as your username. This is a cool way to prove who you are and keep your identity consistent across Bluesky.
  • Customize your feed: When you join, you’ll find three main ways to view posts: Following (posts from people you follow), Discover (to find new content), and For You (personalized recommendations). Plus, you can tweak these to focus on the topics you’re interested in.

In short, Bluesky is a decentralized network that gives you a lot of freedom to control your social media experience, from protecting your privacy to choosing what you want to see and share. It’s a platform that’s built to be transparent and open, encouraging innovation and personal expression.

What Makes Bluesky Stand Out from Other Social Media Platforms

Bluesky distinguishes itself from other social media platforms through several innovative features and a new approach to digital interaction, primarily driven by its underlying protocol technology, which would enable individuals to create their own communities within the platform.

Here’s what makes Bluesky different from other social media networks:

  1. Decentralized protocol technology
  2. User control and algorithmic choice
  3. Custom domains for user handles

1. Decentralized Protocol Technology

The platform is different from other social media because it’s not controlled by just one company. Instead, Bluesky operates on a decentralized social network protocol that lets everyone who uses it have a say in how it works. 

This means that on Bluesky, users can do more than just post and share content; they can also create their own mini-communities.

It’s like giving everyone the tools to build their own little corners of the internet within the Bluesky app, making it a place where lots of different ideas and spaces can grow, controlled by the people who use them, not just the people who made the app.

2. User Control and Algorithmic Choice

Bluesky puts control back into the hands of its users, offering them algorithmic choices to dictate what they see in their feeds. This presents an alternative to the more traditional algorithms used by most social media platforms, offering users enhanced control and involvement in content creation.

screenshot of bluesky moderation settings tab

Here’s how Bluesky users can actively shape their feeds and interactions:

  • Automated filtering: Users can adjust settings to automatically filter out content based on certain criteria, helping to tailor what appears in their feed without manual intervention.
  • Manual administrator oversight: While the platform itself provides a level of moderation, users can report content or accounts that violate Bluesky’s guidelines, triggering a review by platform administrators.
  • Community labeling: This unique feature allows users to create and apply labels to content or accounts, categorizing them in ways that make sense to the community. For example, content can be tagged for its nature (e.g., educational, satire) or for containing specific types of content (e.g., spoilers).
  • Subscription to label sets: Users can subscribe to label sets created by others, enabling them to automatically filter their feed based on these community-driven categorizations. This means if a user trusts the judgment of another user or group, they can choose to see or hide content that has been labeled accordingly.
  • Content category preferences: Bluesky allows users to set preferences for how they encounter various content categories, such as nudity or impersonation. Options like “hide,” “warn,” or “show” give users granular control over what types of content they are exposed to, based on their comfort level or interest.

3. Custom Domains for User Handles

Offering custom domains for user handles not only enhances the Twitter-like experience by providing a familiar interface but also adds a layer of personalization and credibility to user profiles.

Here’s how The Onion has created its own custom domain on Bluesky:

the onion custom domain

This feature is particularly appealing for brands and public figures seeking to maintain a consistent online identity.

These features create a platform that adresses key challenges commonly encountered in traditional social media. This includes enhancing user privacy, offering more balanced content moderation, and empowering users with greater control over their personal data and online interactions.

What Are the Core Differences between X (Twitter) and Bluesky?

The core differences between X (Twitter) and Bluesky extend beyond the innovative features already highlighted, delving into foundational differences in operation, governance, and user experience. 

Here are the key distinctions between X and Bluesky:

  • Ownership and governance: While X (Twitter) operates on a centralized model with decision-making and control resting within the company, Bluesky adopts a decentralized approach, empowering its user base with greater influence in shaping the platform’s policies and features.
  • Data portability and interoperability: On X (Twitter), user data and content are primarily confined within the platform, posing challenges for data movement to other services. Conversely, Bluesky champions easy data movement and interaction across platforms, enhancing user flexibility with its decentralized protocol.
  • Algorithm transparency and user choice: X (Twitter) utilizes proprietary algorithms with limited transparency for curating user feeds. In contrast, Bluesky emphasizes transparent algorithmic processes and offers users the autonomy to select or develop the algorithms that determine their online experience.
  • Content ecosystem and creation: X (Twitter) focuses on content creation within its platform, with minimal external application influence. Bluesky, however, encourages a diverse ecosystem, inviting a range of applications and services to contribute to a varied content landscape.
  • Moderation and community standards: Moderation on X (Twitter) is centrally managed, occasionally sparking debates over its fairness. Bluesky, alternatively, is steering towards a community-driven moderation approach, allowing users more input in defining and enforcing standards for a potentially more adaptive and user-tailored system.
  • Direct messaging and advanced tools: X (Twitter) offers Direct Messaging and features like account lists for organization and private conversations. Bluesky, as of now, lacks these functionalities, presenting a simpler interface but missing these specific tools.

How Does Bluesky Work as a Social Network?

Bluesky offers a fresh take on the social media landscape, diverging from traditional platforms through features that emphasize user autonomy and control. It provides a space where users can create a new account, follow others, and engage in meaningful conversations.

Here’s how Bluesky works as a social media platform:

  1. Content formats and limitations
  2. User engagement and metrics

1. Content Formats and Limitations

Here are the specific requirements for Bluesky in terms of content formats and limitations:

  • Posts: Users can share text-based updates with a maximum length of 300 characters, encouraging concise and impactful communication.
  • Images and Media: The platform supports attaching images to posts, likely accommodating popular formats such as JPG, PNG, and GIFs. Specific details on image size limits might be in place to ensure optimal performance and user experience.
  • Videos: Currently, Bluesky does not support video uploads.
  • Image sizes: The recommended sizes for Bluesky images are 2048×2048 pixels for both header and profile photos, 600×335 pixels (expanding to 1200×675 pixels) for in-stream images, at least 600 pixels wide for ads, 1200×1200 pixels for video ads and thumbnails, 800×418 pixels for cards images, and specific dimensions for cover photos depending on the device.

2. User Engagement and Actions

Here are the actions users can take on Bluesky:

  • Following: Users follow accounts to stay updated with their latest posts, building a personalized feed of content.
  • Likes and reactions: Bluesky may allow users to heart posts, facilitating simple ways to engage with content.

bluesky reactions

  • Comments and replies: The platform likely enables commenting on posts, allowing users to engage in discussions and provide feedback directly.
  • Resharing: Users can reshare content publicly or within their network through Bluesky.
  • Extra features: When pressing on the three dots next to the reactions, users can take different actions: translate the content, copy the post’s text, copy the link to the post, mute thread, hide post or report post.

5 Ways to Use Bluesky for Your Brand

Bluesky offers a platform for brands to navigate the digital space with strategic approaches that stand out from traditional social media practices. 

Here’s how your brand can leverage Bluesky on a global scale:

  1. Reach niche communities
  2. Establish thought leadership
  3. Create a custom domain
  4. Be less promotional
  5. Join the public conversation

1. Reach Niche Communities

Bluesky’s environment is primed for brands to connect with highly specialized audiences. By focusing on niche communities that align closely with your brand’s products or services, you can engage with users who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. This targeted approach ensures that your content resonates more deeply, fostering a loyal user base. 

To connect with niche communities on Bluesky, brands should consider these streamlined strategies:

  • Identify key interests: Research to find 3-5 interests that align with your brand and target them in your content. This helps in reaching users genuinely interested in what you offer.
  • Use relevant keywords in your profile: Optimize your profile with keywords that match your niche. This makes it easier for potential followers interested in your area to find you.
  • Incorporate keywords in posts: Regularly include specific keywords in your content to improve visibility in searches related to your niche, attracting more engaged users.
  • Engage with similar accounts: Follow and interact with accounts and discussions your target audience cares about. This increases your visibility and establishes your presence within the community.

These focused approaches help in effectively reaching and engaging with niche communities on Bluesky, building a loyal following.

2. Establish Thought Leadership Through Quality Content

Becoming a thought leader on Bluesky involves sharing insightful content that contributes to industry conversations and showcases your expertise.

Given that many brands have yet to establish a foothold on Bluesky, early adopters have the advantage of shaping the narrative and setting the standards for their industry. 

Providing value through informative posts, analysis, and engaging in meaningful discussions, your brand can set itself apart as an authority in your field. 

Here’s such an example of a Bluesky post from Neil Gaiman:

neil gaiman bluesky

Here are some post types that tend to work well on Bluesky:

  • Quick tips and insights: Share short, actionable advice or insights related to your industry. These bite-sized pieces of content are easy for followers to digest and apply, making them highly shareable.
  • Industry news commentary: Provide your perspective on the latest industry news. This not only shows that you’re up-to-date but also positions your brand as a go-to source for insights on current events.
  • Threaded posts for deep dives: Utilize Bluesky’s threaded posts to explore complex topics in detail. This format allows you to break down information into more manageable parts, making it easier for your audience to understand and engage with.
  • Questions: Engage your audience directly by asking questions. This can spur discussions and provide valuable insights into your followers’ opinions and preferences.
  • Success stories and case studies: Share real-world examples of how your products or services have made a difference. These stories can be highly effective in demonstrating your brand’s value and expertise.
  • Infographics and visuals: Even though Bluesky is text-oriented, incorporating visuals like infographics can help to illustrate complex information in an accessible and engaging way.

To establish thought leadership on Bluesky, it’s important to focus on both the quality and consistency of your content. Regularly sharing insightful posts and industry analysis can greatly enhance your brand’s authority.

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Moreover, with SocialBee’s AI content generator, you can quickly create engaging captions and images, and its AI assistant, Copilot, guides you in crafting effective strategies. 

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3. Create a Custom Domain

Utilizing Bluesky’s feature to create a custom domain for your brand’s profile enhances your online identity and makes it easier for users to find and remember you.

A custom domain lends credibility and professionalism to your presence, setting you apart from competitors. be

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up a custom domain for your Bluesky profile:

  • Select your domain: Choose a domain that matches your brand. If you don’t have one, purchase it from a domain registrar.
  • Verify ownership: Bluesky will need to confirm you own the domain. This usually means adding a TXT record to your DNS settings, with details provided by Bluesky.
  • Configure DNS settings: Go to your domain registrar’s dashboard and add the TXT record Bluesky provided. The process may vary by registrar.
  • Update Bluesky settings: After adding the TXT record, log into Bluesky and find the section to manage your profile or settings. Look for an option to add a custom domain.
  • Enter your domain: In the custom domain section on Bluesky, input your domain name as registered. Make sure to follow any specific formatting instructions from Bluesky.
  • Complete verification: Bluesky will check for the TXT record. Once verified, your domain will be linked to your profile.
  • Promote your new domain: Share your custom domain across your marketing channels and social media to boost visibility. This helps users find your brand on Bluesky more easily.

Look how The Washington Post has created their very own domain:

screenshot of bluesky custom domain the washington post

It also reinforces your brand’s image and aids in cross-platform branding consistency, making your Bluesky account an integral part of your digital marketing strategy on a worldwide level.

4. Be Less Promotional

The key to engaging effectively on Bluesky is to focus less on overt promotion and more on building genuine connections with your audience. Share content that sparks conversation, offers insights, and adds value without directly selling. 

Here are some post ideas that foster community building and enhance brand awareness without being directly promotional:

  • Deep dives into industry reports: Summarize key findings from recent industry reports or studies, adding your analysis to highlight implications for your audience. This can help in positioning your brand as a knowledgeable authority.
  • User-generated content showcases: Launch a campaign encouraging users to share their experiences with your product or service, using a unique hashtag. Feature the best stories in your posts to foster a sense of community and trust.
  • Weekly tips series: Start a weekly series of posts offering niche-specific tips, like “Tech Tip Tuesdays” for tech brands or “Wellness Wednesdays” for health and wellness brands. This regular content keeps followers engaged and looking forward to your next post.
  • Live-posting during events: If your brand participates in or hosts events, conduct live-posting sessions on Bluesky during these events. Share insights, quotes from speakers, and key takeaways to engage users in real-time.
  • Success story spotlights: Instead of just testimonials, share detailed success stories of how your product or service solved a problem or enhanced a customer’s life or business. Include before-and-after scenarios to illustrate the impact clearly.
  • Exclusive polls for product feedback: Use questions to ask for feedback on potential new features or products. This not only engages your community but also makes them feel involved in your development process.
  • Day-in-the-life stories: Share a day in the life of your team members through stories or posts, highlighting the people behind your brand. This could be a detailed look at a day in your product development team’s life or your customer support heroes.
  • Holiday content: We all love holidays, don’t we? Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day – all are reasons to create some content for your brand. Crafting seasonal content is a fun way to engage with your audience. 

Here’s a fun Valentine’s Day post idea from the Monterey Bay Aquarium:

Monterey Bay Aquarium bluesky post
This approach aligns with the expectations of Bluesky users who favor authentic interaction over commercial content.

By prioritizing community engagement and valuable contributions, your brand can foster a positive reputation and grow its following organically around the globe.

5. Join Public Conversations

Active participation in the public conversation on Bluesky is crucial for brands aiming to make an impact. 

Engage with current events, trending topics, and discussions relevant to your industry to demonstrate your brand’s awareness and responsiveness. This not only increases your visibility but also shows your commitment to being a part of the global dialogue. 

Engaging with users from different backgrounds and perspectives can enrich your brand’s understanding of diverse markets and help tailor your offerings to meet the needs of a global audience.

How to Get Started with Bluesky’s Decentralized Social Media Platform

Initiating your journey on Bluesky involves a few straightforward steps:

  1. Create a Bluesky account
  2. Select your hosting provider
  3. Configure your account
  4. Personalize your profile
  5. Curate your feed
  6. Share your first post

1. Create a Bluesky Account

The first thing you need to do is navigate to bsky.app or download the mobile version from the App Store / Google Play Store and click on “Create a new account” visible on the welcome screen. While it was only possible to join with an invite code during the first couple of months, the Bluesky social media app is now available to the public.

bluesky opening screen

This screen presents two options: to either create a new account or to log in to an existing one.

2. Select Your Hosting Provider

The platform will initially ask you to choose your hosting provider, with Bluesky being the default option. 

screenshot of choose bluesky domain tab

However, you have the liberty to select an alternative provider if desired.

3. Configure Your Account

The next steps involve filling in essential details such as your email address, birth date, and preferred password to secure your entire account.

You’ll then have to verify your phone number and choose your topics of interest.

4. Personalize Your Profile

After setting up your account, you have the opportunity to customize your profile. 

screenshot of a bluesky bio

This includes adding a profile picture, cover photo, display name, and a personal bio to introduce yourself to the community.

5. Curate Your Feed

Begin exploring the platform by discovering and following other accounts that align with your interests. Bluesky allows the creation of custom feeds, enabling you to tailor the content you encounter.

6. Share Your First Post

Engage with the community by creating your first post. You can share thoughts, links, and emojis within a 300-character limit. 

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Here’s what you can do through SocialBee for your Bluesky account:

  • Max characters: Posts can be up to 300 characters, ideal for concise, impactful messages.
  • Max images: Attach up to 4 images to a single post, with support for png, jpg, webp, and gif formats. Note that gifs will be posted as static images.
  • Alt-text for images: Include alternative text for images, enhancing accessibility and SEO.
  • Language selection: Choose the language for your post directly from the post editor, catering to diverse audiences.
  • Control replies: Decide who can reply to your posts, with options including everybody, nobody, mentioned users, and followed users. This helps in managing the conversation and engagement level.
  • Content types: Besides images, you can create posts with text and links, making it versatile for different content strategies.

This comprehensive set of features allows for effective management of your Bluesky presence, ensuring your content reaches the right audience at the right time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who Owns Bluesky?

The platform is led by CEO Jay Graber, with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and XMPP creator Jeremie Miller serving on its board of directors.

2. Is Bluesky a Legit Social Network?

Yes, it is! Given its backing by influential figures in the tech industry and its structured approach to creating a new space for digital communication, Bluesky presents itself as a legitimate social network. 

Its decentralized platform offers a fresh alternative to traditional social media, aiming to empower frequent users with more control over their online interactions and the content they consume.

3. Should My Company Create a Bluesky Account?

Yes, creating a Bluesky account can be a strategic move for your company, offering the advantage of early adoption on a platform that promotes genuine engagement with niche communities. 

Will You Integrate Bluesky in Your Social Media Strategy?

Deciding whether to integrate Bluesky into your social media strategy hinges on your brand’s objectives and the audience you aim to reach.  

As the platform continues to grow, its potential for reaching engaged, passionate audiences before your competition does will likely increase, making now an opportune time to consider its role in your strategy. 

To ensure you’re maximizing your social media efforts across all platforms, consider leveraging a comprehensive tool like SocialBee, designed to streamline your content management and engagement strategies. Start your 14-day SocialBee free trial!

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