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Bluesky Announces Update Allowing Users to Customize Their Own Algorithms

Bluesky, the decentralized Twitter alternative, enables users to customize their own algorithms with a significant update, ushering in a new level of personalized content curation.

Bluesky Update: Choose and Create Your Own Algorithms

Bluesky, the decentralized social media platform backed by Jack Dorsey, has released a major update: the ability for users to choose and even create their own algorithms. The update, known as the "custom feeds" feature, allows users to subscribe to various algorithms and craft their own for others to follow.

Similar to pinning different lists to your home timeline on Twitter, users can subscribe to multiple feeds and swiftly switch between them within the app. However, due to their algorithmic nature, custom feeds hold more power than just simple account lists.

One such feed, for example, is devoted to posts from users' mutual followers, a feature dynamic in nature as the feed updates with the gaining of new mutual followers. While the default setting in the Bluesky app is the chronological "following" timeline, most custom feeds aren't tied to chronological order.

These feeds provide insights into different communities emerging on Bluesky and showcase trending topics on the platform. Users have already created custom feeds dedicated to various interests. Thanks to third-party apps like SkyFeed and Flipboard, early adopters have been experimenting with this feature even before its official release on Bluesky's app.

According to Bluesky's protocol engineer Paul Frazee, the ability to create a feed for Bluesky is open to all users, although the process is currently technical. Future updates aim to simplify the process of creating custom feeds in-app.

Jay Graber, CEO of Bluesky, perceives algorithmic choice as a solution to backlash against perceived algorithmic manipulation of timelines. Graber envisions a similar approach for content moderation, with users having control over the level of moderation and filtering.

The goal is to construct a social media infrastructure that blends third-party services into a seamless user experience, evolving more quickly than any single curation or moderation method developed within a single company.

This idea of custom algorithms aligns with Jack Dorsey's vision, who endorsed the idea multiple times while at the helm of Twitter. With increasing scrutiny on the impact of social media algorithms on users, the allure of custom algorithms is the upfront transparency they offer, allowing users to easily switch between different experiences, most of which aren't directly controlled by the platform.