Bluesky, the emerging Twitter alternative, has unveiled a significant feature known as “custom feeds” or personalized algorithms. This new functionality allows users to subscribe to feeds that showcase a diverse range of posts, distinct from the content typically found in Bluesky’s main “What’s Hot” feed.
Functioning similarly to Twitter lists, custom feeds can be pinned and appear as separate tabs at the top of users’ timelines. By accessing the “My Feeds” menu in the app’s sidebar, users can select and pin their preferred feeds. The default options include feeds for “What’s Hot” (featuring top trending content across the network), “What’s Hot Classic” (the original experience), “Bluesky Team” (posts from the Bluesky Team members), and “Popular With Friends” (a mix of popular content from followed accounts and liked content).
Discovering new feeds is also made possible within the “My Feeds” section. Users can explore a wide range of options, from tamer feeds like “Cat Pics” and “Music” to quirkier choices such as “Hellthread Feed” and “What’s Alf.” Additionally, users have the flexibility to opt for a reverse chronological timeline, displaying posts solely from accounts they follow.
The implementation of these custom feeds offers users a sense of control over the algorithmic content presented to them. In a digital landscape where influential figures dominate social media conversations, and platforms like TikTok masterfully engage users, having the ability to curate personalized feeds is a welcome feature. Users may find solace in limiting their experience to the posts of those they follow, particularly when seeking to minimize distractions.
Bluesky CEO Jay Graber, in a blog post emphasizing the platform’s vision for algorithmic choice, expressed the desire for a future where individuals have authority over their social media experience. The aim is to replace the traditional “master algorithm” controlled by a single company with an open and diverse “marketplace of algorithms.”
Custom feeds are currently available on Bluesky’s latest mobile apps and its web client, accessible through bsky.app. However, the platform remains invite-only, limiting access to those who already have an account or receive an invitation code from another user.