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X (Twitter) vs Bluesky Social: How different are they?
We have seen a lot of changes in social media of late. Twitter became X, and Jack Dorsey’s BlueSky Social started gaining traction. It’s left many contemplating which social media platform is right for them. Here’s a Bluesky Social vs X comparison to help you decide.
Bluesky Social vs X: How we’ll compare
Bluesky Social and X aim to serve you in the same way; they’re microblogging platforms. To help separate the two, we’re going to look at core features and usability. We’ll also highlight key differences. Beyond analyzing them, we’ll give our verdict on which app we feel wins this Bluesky Social vs X comparison.
Creating an account
The key difference here is that anyone can sign up for an X account. Enter some personal data and you’re good to go. Bluesky, however, is an invite-only platform. Anyone can request an invite code, but they’re not guaranteed to get one. Some Bluesky users can share invite codes too, but not every user gets them.
X’s open-door policy makes it easier to use the platform but harder to keep out bots and spam accounts. BlueSky’s more cautious approach aims to keep all users human and your feed spam-free.
Bluesky markets itself as a platform that gives users all the power. Using the open-source framework, Bluesky promises to be transparent about its ongoing developments and lets you take full control of your data. You can also cross-post on other platforms without setting up several accounts.
X is a closed platform, with users having little idea of what’s going to happen next. It’s also difficult to integrate X with other third-party platforms. If you choose to leave X, you’ll lose all your account information and connections.
At first glance, creating a post looks almost identical on each platform. On further inspection, you can do more on X than on Bluesky. Let’s take a look.
A standard X post lets free users craft copy with a 280-character limit. Bluesky is slightly more generous, giving users up to 300 characters per post. X lets you create a series of connected posts called a thread, allowing you to say more and keep on topic. Bluesky currently doesn’t have this feature.
X also expands its character limit to 25,000, allowing users to craft longer posts. This expansion is only available on a paid account, which we’ll touch on shortly.
Types of posts
You can post text and photographs on both platforms, but that’s where the similarities start and end. X has far more functionality in this department. You can post videos, GIFs, and voice notes. It’s also possible to create a poll and share your location with others.
Bluesky users won’t be sliding into anyone’s DMs. At the time of writing, the platform doesn’t offer any type of private messaging. You can only tag users in a public post to interact with them. On X, you can send private text messages and also voice messages. For security, users can control which users can contact them through direct messages.
The design of each platform feels almost identical. You create a new post by selecting the post icon in the bottom right-hand corner of each app.
The home screen is where you will see posts from people you follow. Both platforms have a tab full of posts from users they believe will interest you.
Each platform has a pop-out menu on the left-hand side that lets you navigate to different features and settings. You can add a profile photograph and external links to your bio as well.
Both apps are available for Android on the Google Play Store and for the iPhone via the App Store. You can use both platforms through your mobile browser too, though with limited functionality. Navigating each app is easy, and both provide smooth performance throughout all of their features.
One key difference in this Bluesky Social vs X comparison is price. Currently, Bluesky is free to all users. X also lets you sign up and use its features for free, but it also has a paid subscription plan, called X Premium.
X Premium costs $84 per year ($7 per month) or $8 when you pay monthly. With a subscription, you’ll see fewer ads, receive prioritized search rankings, and have the ability to share longer videos and text-based posts.
Which one is the best?
There’s no denying that X is the more versatile platform. It offers more posting options and with its Spaces feature, is a better place to feel a sense of community.
The problem is that since Elon Musk took over, the platform has lost its identity and failed to secure a new one. With constant changes and instability, it can be frustrating to use the platform.
As of September 2023, Bluesky has one million active users. Although impressive, that’s nothing compared to the 368 million users on X. So if you want more reach, X is the platform for you.
Bluesky feels more like an application that’s free from politics and drama. If you want a more authentic social experience that feels more democratic than tyrannical, Bluesky is the better option.
You can request an invite code on the Bluesky app or website. Beware you won’t receive one immediately and there’s no time frame for when you should receive your code. Alternatively, you can request an invite code from a current Bluesky user if they have one available.
Jay Garber and a handful of team members own BlueSky. Jack Dorsey currently sits on the board of directors.
Elon Musk is the current owner of X after he purchased the company (then Twitter) for $44 billion in October 2022.