Explainer-With Bluesky, Jack Dorsey has another go at Twitter-like service

Illustration shows Bluesky social network logo

(Reuters) - Jack Dorsey is taking another whack at a Twitter-like service with a new social media platform called Bluesky.

The service is gaining traction among Twitter power users, attracting prominent personalities including U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Bluesky, which bears similarities to the blue bird platform, is the latest in a long list of apps that are looking to steal Twitter's thunder after Elon Musk's chaotic takeover of the company.

Here are some details on the service:

What is Bluesky?

It's a text-focused social media service launched for select users in February. Users can post short messages of up to 300 characters, and pictures. There is no support for videos and direct messages, or DMs, so far.

Bluesky runs on a decentralized framework, similar to social network Mastodon. It allows users to build independent social media experiences and users can join a specific "server", which has its own unique set of rules, interests and participants.

How does it compare to Twitter?

Bluesky offers a similar experience to Twitter - people create profiles and post short messages with text and images. On the timeline, Bluesky has "What's hot" and "Following" feed, similar to the curated "For You" and the chronological "Following" feeds on Twitter.

Unlike Twitter, Bluesky's core framework allows for various customizations. "Instead of one site running the network, you can have many sites. It means you get a choice of provider, and individuals and businesses can self-host if they want," it said in a blog post in October.

Who is behind Bluesky?

It was started by Dorsey as a project within Twitter in 2019 and was set up as an independent company in 2022. As of April 2022, it had raised $13 million from Twitter.

Dorsey, Jeremie Miller, the inventor of communication protocol Jabber/XMPP, and Jay Graber, CEO of Bluesky, are its board members.

Is Bluesky taking on Twitter?

Too soon to say. The company told Bloomberg News it had over 40,000 users.

The company began to sign up users on the wait-list early this year and announced its biggest single-day jump last week.

While its user base is still small, Bluesky has attracted many power users including writer and comedian Dril, following frustrations with Musk's management of Twitter and the recent changes to the platform.

(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik and Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)