Bluesky invites are becoming a hot commodity as demand for the Twitter alternative outstrips access

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Consumer demand for Jack Dorsey-backed Twitter alternative Bluesky is outpacing access, according to the latest App Store data and figures released by the company today. In a new FAQ on the Bluesky website, the company shares that its community has surpassed 50,000 users. However, estimates provided to AapkaDost by app intelligence company indicate that as of April 26, 2023, the decentralized Twitter clone has seen more than 375,000 installs on iOS globally and ranks highly on Apple’s and Google’s app store top lists by Downloads.

Excitement for Bluesky has also increased in recent weeks, thanks to a combination of exclusivity — the app still requires a hard-to-find invite to enter — and the culture the community creates. The latter has seen the app embrace what has been described as “early Twitter” energy, thanks in part to its many meme accounts and shitposting. This results in a kind of frenetic, chaotic atmosphere for Bluesky that attracts many former Twitter users and especially those who don’t quite fit into the more serious and structured environment found in the other decentralized Twitter alternative, Mastodon.

But for now, Bluesky is not responding to excessive consumer demand for its app.

While other would-be Twitter alternatives like Post and T2 have broadened access to their respective networks, Bluesky invites have become such a hot item that they’ve been selling for anywhere from $120 to as much as $400 on eBay in recent days.

Image Credits: eBay screenshot

Image Credits: eBay screenshot

Some sellers are even now testing the market for higher prices as demand for Bluesky increases.

(Above: sold invitations. Below: Bluesky invitations on sale from May 2, 2023).

Image Credits: eBay screenshot

Consumer interest in the app has also fueled the rise of app stores, according to’s analysis.

The company found that Bluesky has achieved more than 375,000 iOS downloads worldwide, peaking on April 15 with 66,000 single-day downloads, thanks to becoming the number 1 app in Thailand across all categories. Before that, the highest level of daily iOS downloads was over 22,000 on March 22, 2023.

This figure of 375,000 is higher than Bluesky’s 240,000 iOS installs as of April 20, of which 135,000 came just that month, recently reported.

Facts visualization Through Miranda halpernmade with Flourish

The app launched on Google Play at the end of April, so insight is still gaining traction on Android devices.

But the analysis indicates that, despite the lack of consumer access to the new social network, Bluesky has managed to trend the download charts on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play in several markets.

For example, in Japan, Bluesky reached No. 3 among social apps on Google Play by downloads on April 24, after previously reaching No. 8 among social apps on iOS on March 4.

In the UK, the app was ranked No. 10 among social apps by Google Play downloads on April 26, shortly after being ranked No. 10 among social apps by iOS downloads on April 23.

The US, meanwhile, accounts for much of Bluesky’s more recent growth, the company said. That contributed to the app reaching No. 22 among social apps by Google Play downloads on April 26 and No. 11 among social apps by iOS downloads on April 24.

Due to its relative newness, said it is unable to accurately predict the number of daily or monthly active users at this time.

The rankings are impressive, not only because the app is still fresh out of the gate, but also because the community is still quite small.

As of a few days ago, Bluesky accounts aimed at tracking all users of the app tracked more than 45,000 people. However, according to the FAQ published by Bluesky today, the company says its community now has more than 50,000 users.

The FAQ also attempts to clarify how invite code access is distributed, noting that existing users will only receive one invite every 2 weeks they use the app. In addition, the company shared that it periodically checks the social graph, and if it notices that certain users are inviting “other trusted participants,” they will receive more invites.

This aspect of the invite system makes Bluesky feel even more exclusive than if it slowly rolled out access to its waitlist. Instead, boarding now feels like a function of who you know. This has resulted in existing Bluesky users being asked daily – often by several people – if they have any invite codes left. (In other words, the best way to get a Bluesky invite is to become an existing user’s best friend for the next two weeks!)

Bluesky says it’s limiting access to grow the network “organically” but if it did it would roll out a few more codes or increase frequency to take advantage of real demand because that would still be considered as be considered organic growth. At the moment, limiting invites to 1 every 2 weeks artificially slows down the growth of the app.

It seems to have been designed that way. The company explains its thinking in the FAQ, saying it should limit bad actors ahead of time.

“Social networks can be exploited by spammers and ill-wishers seeking to manipulate the public conversation. It is much easier to limit submissions and allow them to spread through an existing social chart than it is to retroactively clean up rampant network abuse,” the post reads. “In the long run, we view this invite code system as part of the open source tooling we are building to help server administrators (people who run services) manage and moderate their communities,” it says.

It’s not clear whether the company believes its existing user base can’t be trusted to hand out invites responsibly, or whether it wants to have more influence over who gets in — and who stays out. But with Bluesky invitations being sold to the highest bidder on eBay, the company’s plans to keep bad actors out could be disrupted.

The FAQ describes other aspects of Bluesky’s plans, including the AT protocol for decentralization, and Twitter’s distinctive features, such as algorithmic choice and composable moderation.

It also tries to clarify the nature of Bluesky’s relationship with Twitter, as it was originally incubated on Twitter when Jack Dorsey was CEO. It was later drawn out as an independent company (a PBLLC), with received $13 million from Twitter to kick-start the launch. Now the FAQ notes that “Twitter closed its service agreement with Bluesky in 2022.” Jack Dorsey is still on the board of Bluesky.

Bluesky was asked for comment on the new numbers, but an automated response to press inquiries only pointed us to the new FAQ.

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