Last Month in Bluesky – April 2024

After the hectic months of February and March, things are more stable in Bluesky. The biggest development is the first president that has joined Bluesky, with Brazilian president Lula joining Bluesky as part of a larger conflict between the Brazilian government and X.

The News

Brazilian president Lula has opened an account on Bluesky, reports. The news comes after an escalating conflict between X and the Brazilian Courts. Elon Musk publicly refused to follow orders by the Brazilian court to block certain accounts on X, and a Brazilian judge has ordered an investigation of Elon Musk for obstruction of justice. President Lula opening an account on Bluesky is a direct response to the ongoing conflict between the Brazilian government and X, and indicates how governments are starting to be fed up with the situation at X. President Lula used his first post on Bluesky to say that 38 slaughterhouses will be authorised to export meat to China. (?) Finally, Bluesky dropped their official policy against heads of states joining Bluesky.

Skygaze, the organisation behind the For You custom feed announced that they have quit the feed, and transferred ownership of the feed to the Bluesky organisation. The For You feed was by far the most popular custom feed that had a personalised algorithm. Skygaze said that they are moving on to other projects. Skygaze had been fairly involved in the Bluesky community, running a hackaton only 2 months ago. Recently, Bluesky CEO Jay Graber stated that one ways Bluesky plans to make money is to create a marketplace for custom feeds and third party moderation, where Bluesky will take a cut of the payments. Skygaze was one of the only creators of custom feeds that appeared to have a commercial side, as they seemed to have an affiliation with YCombinator. With them leaving the ATmosphere for other projects there are no other organisations that operate a third party service on the ATmosphere have expressed a clear interest in monetisation of their services yet.

Bluesky announced the second batch of ATProto grant recipients. The total grant was 4.8k USD, spend on various microgrants. SkyBridge is the grant project that got the most attention (TechCrunch, The Verge), which got a 800USD grant to rewrite the project in Rust. SkyBridge has been around for almost a year, although I personally never really got it to work properly. The grant should give the project a boost and renewed interest.

In February, Bluesky announced that they started federation, allowing people to run their own PDS, albeit under significant restrictions (apply for Relay access, limit the PDS to 10 accounts) while the process underwent testing. So far, these restrictions have not been lifted yet.

App updates

The official Bluesky apps have gotten some updates this month:

  • You can now post gifs.
  • You can now embed Bluesky posts on your website.
  • YouTube Music player support.

The Links

That’s all for this month, thanks for reading. You can follow me on Bluesky, or subscribe to my newsletter below. You’ll get a weekly update on the fediverse in your inbox, and a monthly update on Bluesky and the ATmosphere.