Bluesky, the decentralized social network supported by Jack Dorsey, has launched a premium domain service in collaboration with Namecheap, aiming to provide users with identity verification options. In a recent announcement about their sustainability plans, the Bluesky team emphasized the pitfalls of treating users as commodities through advertising. Since Bluesky’s mission centers around empowering users to own their data, they opted to explore alternative avenues for generating revenue. Notably, while the social app originated as a Twitter-funded project, it has since distanced itself from the platform under Elon Musk’s leadership.
Given the absence of ad-based earnings, the Bluesky team devised the idea of offering paid services, starting with custom domain names. Although users were previously able to set up custom domains for use with Bluesky, they had to navigate a separate process with a domain registrar. The integration with Namecheap streamlines this procedure, enabling users to secure their domains within minutes. They can conveniently log into their Bluesky account, search for a domain name to use as their handle, and complete the purchase—all within the Bluesky interface. As Bluesky lacks a centralized verification system, employing a domain name serves as the most reliable method for users to authenticate their identities. For instance, US Senators have reportedly relied on the senate.gov domain to validate their status.
Through this integrated service, users gain control over their domain settings and configurations within the Bluesky platform. Additionally, they can forward emails sent to their domains to an address of their choosing. Users also have the flexibility to redirect their domain to their Bluesky profile or any preferred URL. Should they decide to leave the platform or switch to another registrar, they retain the option to transfer their domain elsewhere.
According to Bluesky’s announcement, domain integration represents only the initial step in a series of potential paid services on the platform. The team intends to explore further offerings that can be bundled together, fostering a seamless user experience. However, it’s important to note that Bluesky remains in a private beta phase, and interested individuals must join a waitlist before gaining access.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about custom domains
What is Bluesky?
Bluesky is a decentralized social network that aims to provide users with an ad-free experience and empower them to own their data.
Why has Bluesky launched a paid domain service?
Bluesky believes that relying on ads makes users the product. To sustain the platform, they have chosen to explore alternative avenues of monetization, starting with a paid domain service.
How does the domain service work?
Users can now set up custom domain names directly within Bluesky, thanks to the integration with Namecheap. They can search for a domain name, pay for it within the Bluesky interface, and manage their domain settings and configurations.
Why are custom domains important for identity verification?
Bluesky lacks a centralized verification system, and using a custom domain is a reliable way for users to verify their identities. For example, US Senators have been using the senate.gov domain for this purpose.
Can users transfer their domains if they leave Bluesky?
Yes, users have the option to transfer their domains away from Bluesky if they decide to leave the platform or switch to another domain registrar.
Are there plans for additional paid services on Bluesky?
Yes, according to the announcement, domain integration is just the first of several paid services that Bluesky is exploring. They aim to bundle services to provide a more seamless experience for users.
How can I join Bluesky?
Bluesky is currently in a private beta phase. If you’re interested, you’ll need to join a waitlist to gain access to the platform.