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Bluesky Challenges Meta's Algorithm Control

  • Meta faces criticism for removing politics from recommendations on Instagram and Threads, sparking discussions on centralized algorithms.
  • Bluesky, a startup, offers a decentralized approach to social media, emphasizing customization and avoiding centralized control over algorithms.
  • Bluesky plans to introduce hashtags for user customization, allowing for custom feeds and trending topics on the decentralized platform.

Meta is facing criticism for its decision to remove politics from its recommendations on Instagram and Threads. This has created an opportunity for Bluesky, a startup whose CEO, Jay Graber, believes that Meta's approach highlights the problems that arise when one company controls the algorithm. 

Unlike centralized platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, or even Elon Musk's X (formerly Twitter), Bluesky takes a different approach to social media. 

While Threads plans to integrate with ActivityPub, Meta's moderation decisions will apply to all Threads users, even if it becomes part of the larger federated network that includes Mastodon and other ActivityPub-powered apps.

Threads has over 130 million monthly active users, while Mastodon currently has around 1 million monthly active users.

However, the main appeal of Bluesky to users may not be the protocols it uses for social networking, but rather the ease of customization it offers. Mastodon has struggled with usability, and until its September release, users couldn't even search for posts without relying on hashtags.

Bluesky aims to introduce hashtags as well, according to Graber. "It's actually on its way," she mentioned in the interview, referring to the upcoming introduction of hashtags.

The CEO mentioned that on Bluesky, hashtags will not only help surface terms and trends but they can also be used to create custom feeds. Unlike X, which focuses on payments, shopping, and creator content, Bluesky offers a different approach where the rules are not dictated by a single person or influenced by the fear of punishment from lawmakers and regulators.

Edited by Shruti Thapa