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Bluesky Social vs Threads by Meta: Which one offers more?

A battle of the microblogging platforms.
By

Published onOctober 26, 2023

bluesky vs threads lead
Dan Ginn / Android Authority

As X (formerly Twitter) went into disarray, it became an opportunity for other microblogging platforms to take over. Meta launched Threads, and more people became curious about Bluesky Social. The question is, what do they offer, and which one is best? We’ll share all in this Threads vs Bluesky Social comparison.

Threads vs Bluesky: How we’ll compare

Threads and Bluesky Social borrow heavily from X’s user interface. With that in mind, it may seem difficult to tell them apart. However, there are clear differences in features and usability.

We’ll be looking at them in greater detail to help you decide which platform is best. On top of breaking them down, we’ll also give our verdict on who wins this Threads vs Bluesky Social head-to-head.

Creating an account

threads sign up
Dan Ginn / Android Authority

Creating an account may seem like something that’s not even worth mentioning in a comparison like this, but there are things you need to be aware of. We’ll start with Threads. You can’t create an account without having an Instagram account. To access Threads, people simply log in with their Instagram credentials.

Bluesky Social, on the other hand, is an invite-only platform. You can request an invite code on the website or through the mobile app. There’s no guarantee if or when you will receive your code. Alternatively, you can request a code from another Bluesky user. Once you have an invite code, you’ll sign up with your email and create a username and password.

Posting

There are many similarities when it comes to creating a post. However, each platform does things slightly differently.

Character limits

Threads lets you add 500 characters to each of your posts. Bluesky Social comes in a little shorter, allowing users to add 300 characters to each post. True to its name, Threads also lets you create threads. These are multiple linear posts that let you remain on the same topic. Bluesky currently doesn’t offer the same feature.

bluesky post
Dan Ginn / Android Authority

Multimedia

You can post photographs on both platforms and share links to external content. But only Threads offers the ability to share videos with your followers. At the time of writing, you can share videos up to five minutes in length.

threads external link
Dan Ginn / Android Authority

Messaging other users

Neither Bluesky nor Threads lets you send private messages to other users. If you want to send a DM to someone you follow on Threads, you’ll need to select the Instagram logo, which takes you back to the Instagram app.

threads post
Dan Ginn / Android Authority

To interact with other users, you can tag them in public posts. With Threads, you have more control over how people can interact with your public posts. For example, if you tag another user, you can select that only they can respond to your post.

Usability

Using each platform requires little brain power. That said, Threads has issues that weaken the user experience.

Firstly, when creating a post on Threads, there’s no indication of how many characters you have used, or how many you have remaining. Secondly, it’s not possible to create a photograph or video inside the app. Instead, you need to use your camera app and then upload it to the platform.

bluesky photo
Dan Ginn / Android Authority

With Bluesky, you simply open the app, select the camera icon, take a photo, and share it with your followers. It’s a much easier way to share content.

The search functionality is satisfactory on each platform. Unlike X you won’t see the top posts. Instead, Threads and Bluesky will share the latest posts that include the term you searched for. Bluesky also lets you seamlessly jump between Posts and Users that include the term you’re looking for.

Performance-wise, both apps are smooth. We didn’t experience any lags or crashes during use. They’re both available via the Google Play Store and the App Store. You can also use both apps through your web browser as well.

Key difference

There’s one key difference in this Threads vs Bluesky Social comparison, and that’s how each company operates. Meta owns Threads and is a closed platform. This means Meta makes all the rules that users need to play by. It also means it has more control over what it can do with user data.

Developers built Bluesky on the open-source framework. Essentially, this means the platform promotes a culture of transparency with its users. In theory, this involves relying heavily on user input to improve the app. Bluesky also makes it easier to integrate your account with third-party apps and doesn’t implement strict rules about which apps you can interact with.

Pricing

You can use all of Threads and Bluesky Social’s features free of charge. On Threads, there’s a catch: ads in your feed. That’s something you’ll have to accept if you want the free experience. Right now, it’s not clear how Bluesky will sustain itself. Some speculation suggests the platform will offer services you need to pay for in the future.

Which one is the best?

If you want an ad-free experience and more transparency surrounding user data, Bluesky Social is the app for you. In many ways, it feels like a protest app, one that wants to show the big hitters that there’s another way of doing things. Time will tell if it will succeed.

Threads is for anyone who wants an X-like experience but wishes to remain locked into the Meta ecosystem. It’s decent enough. However, it doesn’t offer any innovation that separates it from similar microblogging platforms.

FAQs

It’s available for public use now, though only via an invite code which anyone can request.

You can request an invite code via the app or website. Alternatively, you can request an invite code from an active BlueSky Social user.

Jay Garber and a handful of team members own Bluesky. Jack Dorsey currently sits on the board of directors.

Threads belongs to its parent company Meta; a publicly traded organization.