In this day and age, where social media algorithms manipulate a big part of our lives, industry experts and people have been rallying for more transparency and choice when it comes to choosing their social media feeds. Now, in an effort to address this issue, Bluesky, the decentralized Twitter alternative backed by Jack Dorsey, has introduced a new “custom feeds” feature, which allows users to customize their algorithms and fine-tune their feeds to display a diverse range of posts.
Currently, in the closed beta phase, the new custom feeds feature is similar to Twitter lists in the sense that users pin specific custom feeds, which then appear as separate tabs at the top of their timelines. This allows users to handpick the posts they want to see through the “My Feeds” menu located in the app’s sidebar. Moreover, Bluesky has already created some custom feeds such as furries, cat photos, queer shitposters, positive thoughts, and the hell thread.
How is the feature different from Twitter lists?
Unlike Twitter lists, which display posts based on the topics you choose, Bluesky’s “My Feeds” is dynamic and adapts as the number of mutual followers increases. For example, while Bluesky’s app currently defaults to a chronological “following” timeline, most custom feeds are not limited to this order, as they provide a window into emerging communities and highlight trending topics on the platform.
The implementation of custom feeds can potentially shape the future of Bluesky as people seek out platforms that offer a more user-centric approach. Commenting on this, Jay Graber, the CEO of Bluesky, expressed the platform’s vision for algorithmic choice, stating, “We aspire to create a future where you have control over what you see on social media. Our goal is to replace the conventional ‘master algorithm,’ controlled by a single company, with an open and diverse ‘marketplace of algorithms.'”
How to access the new feature?
Although still in testing, users can access the custom feeds through the latest version of Bluesky’s mobile apps and the web client at bsky.app. However, it is important to note that the app is currently invite-only, and users can only access the feature if they already have an account or receive an invitation code from someone.