Bluesky upcoming Product Roadmap focused on User Experience and Functionality

Bluesky upcoming Product Roadmap focused on User Experience and Functionality

Bluesky this week unveiled its product roadmap for the coming months. The roadmap prioritizes long-requested features and quality-of-life improvements for the Bluesky app, aiming to enhance user experience and functionality.

Following a period of significant user growth (from 40,000 to 5.6 million users in the past year), Bluesky is shifting its focus towards improving the user experience within the Bluesky app. This strategic shift acknowledges user feedback and aims to address feature gaps identified by the Bluesky community.

Key Upcoming Features

Direct Messaging (DMs): Previously, all posts on Bluesky were public. The introduction of DMs caters to a wider range of user interactions, including private communication, networking, and collaborative content creation. Initially, Bluesky will introduce an "off-protocol" DM service within the app, allowing for iterative development and user testing. A future update will integrate protocol-driven DMs based on learnings from the initial iteration.

Video Sharing: Responding to user demand for multimedia content sharing, Bluesky is planning to introduce video integration. The initial version is expected to allow users to share video clips up to 90 seconds in length within their posts.

Improved Custom Feeds: Custom Feeds are a core feature of Bluesky, allowing users to personalize their content feeds. However, the current iteration presents usability challenges. The upcoming update will introduce functionalities like in-app feed creation, the ability to curate submitted posts, enhanced feed discovery tools, and improved feedback mechanisms for algorithmic feeds. These improvements aim to empower users with greater control over their content experiences.

Enhanced Anti-Harassment Features: Social media platforms grapple with user harassment, and Bluesky acknowledges the need for further development in this area. Building upon existing tools like reply controls and community-driven moderation, the roadmap promises another round of improvements focused on anti-harassment mechanisms.

OAuth Integration: OAuth is an industry standard that allows users to sign in to applications using existing credentials from other platforms (e.g., "Log in with Facebook"). Bluesky's adoption of OAuth will streamline the login process for users and improve security by eliminating the need to share passwords with third-party clients. Additionally, Bluesky plans to expand its two-factor authentication (2FA) model beyond email verification.

Impact on the decentralized social networking landscape

The focus on user experience through these upcoming features positions Bluesky to be more competitive within the decentralized social networking landscape. By addressing user pain points and incorporating functionalities familiar from existing social media platforms, Bluesky has the potential to attract a wider audience and further encourage user adoption.

Focus on decentralization and algorithmic choice

While the roadmap prioritizes user experience, Bluesky maintains its commitment to decentralization principles. The initial "off-protocol" approach to DMs allows for faster development and testing within the app, with a future transition to a fully decentralized solution. Additionally, Bluesky emphasizes its commitment to "algorithmic choice," empowering users to control the algorithms that curate their content feeds. This focus on user control over data and algorithms remains a core differentiator for Bluesky compared to traditional, centralized social media platforms.

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