As Twitter becomes a functionally different place – with no unpaid blue checkmarks, legacy users bolting, and much longer posts available for those willing to pay up – many are hungry for an alternative. It might just look a lot like the original product: Bluesky, which began as a Twitter initiative and is backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, has opened its invite-only beta to roughly 50,000 users in recent weeks. The app functions like a bare-bones restoration of early Twitter, but without direct messages, a block button, or drafts.
CivicScience polled Americans to see how formidable Bluesky might stand as an alternative to Twitter. According to the latest data, 16% of U.S. adults are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to join Bluesky if granted access – with 5% registering as ‘very likely.’ In its early days, the familiarity numbers are at least well outpacing Mastodon’s from last December, when 71% of adults polled were unfamiliar with it.
Bluesky plays to a younger crowd thus far. Forty-two percent of Gen Z adults are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to give it a try, while 32% of those aged 25-34 say the same. Hispanic and Black adults are the most likely to show at least some level of interest in Bluesky (36% and 33%, respectively), but Asian or Pacific Islander adults are far and away the most likely to be ‘very interested’ in Bluesky (17%).
Among regular Twitter users, it shows early promise – but may not court a majority of them just yet. Daily Twitter users are currently less likely than weekly Twitter users to express interest (35% versus 47%). Hardcore Twitter users may not be as willing to abandon the platform as moderate users. Alternately, 3-in-10 Twitter users who sign on daily or monthly or less haven’t heard of Bluesky yet – both of which well exceed the percentage of weekly users who are unfamiliar.
Whether Bluesky has the longevity to contend with Twitter remains to be seen, but it’s currently better positioned than the site’s other primary alternative (Mastodon) thus far. CivicScience will continue tracking the latest social media shakeups – but if you want our latest on Bluesky and Twitter before anyone else, let’s chat.