Bluesky’s Twitter alternative shows personalized Super Bowl feeds (with or without Taylor Swift)
Image credits: Patrick Smith/Staff/Getty Images
Twitter/X alternative Bluesky is gearing up for one of the biggest weekends on social media with the launch of personalized feeds geared for Super Bowl fans. One feed focuses on conversations about the big game itself while the other also includes news about Taylor Swift, who is expected to be in attendance to cheer on her Kansas City Chiefs boyfriend, Travis Kelce.
The attention Swift has received at Kelce’s games throughout the season has divided sports fans, leading the NFL to defend its coverage of the pop star — especially after Kelce commented that the NFL is “over-exaggerating it.”
But this fork is also an ideal time to demonstrate Bluesky’s support for algorithmic selection, a defining feature of the startup that aims to become a decentralized version of Twitter.
On Bluesky, users don’t have to be locked into one main, algorithm-driven feed, as in other social networks. Instead, the platform supports the creation of a wide range of custom feeds to create unique views of their public content. Some are created by the Bluesky team, such as the “What’s Hot” feed that displays popular posts, while others are created by community members, such as a personalized news feed that displays posts from verified news organizations or that contains photos of cute animals, for example. Example. . Developers have also built tools for creating custom feeds, such as Bluesky Feed Creator and Skyfeed, allowing anyone to create their own feeds using a visual editor.
In the case of the Super Bowl, Bluesky decided to showcase the power of its custom feed capabilities with two different variations — one being a Super Bowl LVIII feed that will help football fans find each other on the growing social network. The other is a similar feed, but also includes chatter about Taylor Swift in the middle of the conversation. Cleverly, Ploskey called this version the “SB (Taylor version).”
Bluesky team member Emily Liu pointed out that the idea behind multiple feeds is due to the fact that “…some football fans have strong feelings about *not* seeing any TS-related content in their football news…” As she said.
Although this use case sounds funny and silly, it is a perfect demonstration of what it means to customize your social media to your own interests via algorithmic choice.
Feeds you like can be pinned to your homepage for easy access, making Bluesky for Everyone unique. There is a wide range of custom feeds to choose from. Some are topical feeds, like the new Super Bowl feeds, while others give you a different view of your network, like feeds that include posts from “subscribers,” feeds of “popular with friends” posts, or feeds that show posts from “quiet stickers” — meaning that People participating less in the conversation, who may have missed their posts.
Although Bluesky isn’t necessarily known for having a large community of sports fans, it has gained more attention after launching this week to the public after a long invitation-only period that has some wondering if it has arrived too late. But so far, things are looking good for the new network on this front. After opening its doors on Tuesday, Bluesky added another 1.3 million users — that’s larger than Mastodon’s monthly active user base at the moment, for comparison. (Mastodon is another open source competitor to Twitter, but built on a different protocol.) In total, Bluesky had more than 4.5 million users as of Friday afternoon.
It remains to be seen whether custom feeds prove a break-even in the long term. X has proven surprisingly difficult, though, and now faces many competitors from small startups to tech giants like Meta. Like Twitter, the network has been the go-to place for sports commentary, analysis and real-time fan reactions – a habit that can be difficult for football fans to break, no matter what kind of new tools for managing their networks become available.