Some consider the social media platform Bluesky as an X (formerly Twitter) alternative and was backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. The platform initially began on an invite-only basis, requiring a code to sign up, but in recent weeks, that requirement is no more, opening the platform up to the general public. CivicScience polling found some early promise, but where does that lie now that anyone can join and after more than a year with Elon Musk at the helm of X?

Comparing CivicScience polling before and after removing the invite code process shows the percentage of Americans who have used and would recommend that platform jumped from 4% to 7%, while those ‘extremely’ likely to use the platform ticked up by two percentage points. There’s still much room for Bluesky to grow, as despite a three-point improvement in awareness, the vast majority have never heard of Bluesky.

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Concern for Online Hate Speech May Play a Role

CivicScience’s tracking of online sentiment around Elon’s Twitter takeover in 2022 found that online hate speech was of particular concern for Twitter users, and that concern has fallen by 10 percentage points to 78%. In terms of the Gen Pop, 76% are at least ‘somewhat’ concerned about hate speech. Consumers who are concerned about hate speech are two points more likely to report they use and would recommend Bluesky and two points more likely to say they’re ‘extremely’ likely to use it in the future.

X Users Have Their Eyes on Bluesky

In a demonstration of the potential Bluesky may have as a Twitter replacement now that it’s open to all, usage and intent jump significantly among X users – the percentage of those who have used and recommend Bluesky, as well as those who are ‘extremely’ likely to use the platform each more than double the Gen Pop. They’re also far more likely to have heard of the platform.

An Increase in Active Social Media Users Presents an Opportunity

Now could be a particularly opportune time for Bluesky to expand its user base thanks to an increase in active social media users. Ongoing CivicScience tracking of overall social media usage finds the percentage of U.S. adults who use social media 2+ hours daily has risen five points to 31% since the start of Q4 2023. Conversely, the percentage of Americans who say they don’t use social media at all is down by a percentage point to 20% over that same timeframe.

The data show opening the platform up has more consumers interested in Bluesky, especially among X users. The key question will be, can Bluesky capitalize on this interest and the growing social media usage overall to build an active user base that will stick around?

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