A new contender has emerged in the "Twitter alternative" social media space: Bluesky, a decentralized, invite-only platform currently making headlines for drawing high-profile users like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and director James Gunn.
Following Tesla CEO Elon Musk's buyout of Twitter in October of last year, many users have sought an alternative platform. For LGBTQ+ users, that search is especially important, as Musk has made Twitter's hate speech moderation (anti-LGBTQ+ speech included) more lax. And last month, Musk removed protections for trans people from the site's hateful conduct policy.
From Mastodon to Clubhouse to Hive, the Twitter exodus has yet to find a permanent home, and many have continued tweeting in the face of Musk's increasingly contentious, and frequently transphobic, policies.
Now, Bluesky is making waves as the next big app to join. It already has more than 40,000 members, along with more than one million prospective users on its waitlist, according to Fortune.
Among its growing userbase, a cluster of Bluesky posters called the "Trans and Queer Shitposters" have found themselves liberated by leaving Musk's Twitter behind.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Cassie Pritchard, a 33-year-old trans woman living in Los Angeles, said that using Bluesky has been a "huge relief." She finds it "a lot more pleasant" than Twitter, where she encountered "transphobic psychopaths who do nothing but tweet about their hatred for trans people all day every day."
While transphobic content is abetted by Musk's policies, Bluesky attempts to limit hate and harassment by remaining invite-only. Posting on his own platform, Bluesky CEO Jay Graber reportedly shared, "Nobody has a right to access an invite-only closed beta, and if they are creating an account exclusively to jump in and harass people in replies they will be removed."
Fin, a nonbinary Bluesky user, told Rolling Stone that their experience has been "extremely positive."
"It's freeing to feel like you can post whatever you want without getting attacked," they continued.
Per Rolling Stone, LGBTQ+ ally Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has also been enjoying her time on Bluesky, sharing more than a hundred posts in the last week.
You can join the Bluesky waitlist on the company's website.