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Announcing Bluesky PBLLC

Feb 7, 2022

by Jay Graber

In 2019, Twitter announced bluesky, a project it would fund to create an open and decentralized standard for social media. Since then, the bluesky community has been working together to better understand the existing decentralized web ecosystem, and outline the core tenets of what an open protocol for social media should include and the technologies on which it should be built.

Today, we are excited to announce the formation of the Bluesky PBLLC, a Public Benefit LLC that will implement that vision as an independent organization. Our mission is to develop and drive large-scale adoption of technologies for open and decentralized public conversation. We were formed in late 2021 with the initial funding provided by Twitter. Our board members include Jack Dorsey, a founder of Twitter, Jeremie Miller, the inventor of Jabber/XMPP, and Jay Graber, CEO of the Bluesky company.

We envision an open social media ecosystem where developers have more opportunity to build and innovate, and users have more choice and control over which services they use and their experience on social media as a whole. The development and adoption of decentralized protocols is a path we see towards establishing a strong technical foundation for permissionless innovation and user choice. Decentralization is a structural change that in itself is insufficient for creating a healthy social media ecosystem. However, by creating an environment where developers can freely build, communities can self-govern, and users can easily switch services, decentralization can catalyze the innovation necessary to improve the public conversation.

The many existing decentralized social networks that currently make up the ecosystem can be categorized into federated and p2p architectures. Our approach will be to combine the best of both worlds by integrating the portability of self-certifying protocols with the user-friendliness of delegated hosting, so users don’t have to run their own infrastructure and developers can build performant apps. Moderation is an important part of any online social forum, which is why we will proactively build tooling for reputation and moderation systems that are transparent, opt-in, and multi-layered, as well as create frameworks for others to build such tooling. We’re building on existing protocols and technologies but are not committed to any stack in its entirety. We see use cases for blockchains, but Bluesky is not a blockchain, and we believe the adoption of social web protocols should be independent of any blockchain.

Our current focus is on building and releasing a prototype that illustrates our approach. Stay tuned for news about our new team members soon. To participate in the community and follow our progress, join the bluesky community, or follow our Twitter account for updates.