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December 8, 2023

Bluesky Responds to User Backlash,Opt-Out Feature for Public Web Exposure

Bluesky is shaking up the social media game, giving users the power to navigate their own online destiny

In the dynamic realm of social media alternatives, Bluesky is making waves, but not without a twist in its course. Last month, the company raised eyebrows with plans to unveil a public web interface for its decentralized Twitter alternative, Bluesky. The catch? All posts, previously confined to the app's invite-only environment, would be laid bare for the public web. This sparked a user revolt as many expressed concerns over the absence of a private mode. Fast forward to now, and Bluesky is tapping the brakes on its public web debut, introducing an opt-out tool in response to user feedback.

In a candid post on Wednesday, Bluesky acknowledged the stir caused by its initial announcement. The company now confirms that the public web view will not be rolled out in the upcoming release as planned. Instead, Bluesky is bowing to user demand by including a tool that allows users to opt out of the public web exposure.

Bluesky subtly reminds users that their posts, profiles, and likes are inherently public data, but it's clear that user expectations and company intentions were not aligned. The initial invite-only launch in February fostered a sense of exclusivity, leading users to anticipate control over their account privacy when Bluesky eventually opened its doors to the public.

Bluesky's unexpected announcement of a public interface without the accompanying private mode option led to a chorus of user complaints. The clamor for privacy-first, public-second sentiment resonated strongly among Bluesky's user base. One user succinctly remarked, "...that's completely the wrong way around. Allow privacy first, make Bluesky public second."

Now, Bluesky is showing its responsiveness to user concerns. The opt-out tool, though affecting only the logged-out view of the Bluesky app, is a step toward accommodating user preferences. The company encourages third-party apps to respect this setting, although it lacks the means to enforce compliance. The absence of a private mode for user profiles, as suggested by some users, remains a topic of discussion for future developments.

As Bluesky recalibrates its trajectory, it's evident that user feedback holds sway in shaping the platform's evolution. The introduction of the opt-out tool is a tangible response to user concerns, fostering a more user-centric approach. Bluesky's journey to redefine social media is unfolding with its ear to the ground, ensuring that user expectations align with the platform's unfolding narrative.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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