One of Bluesky’s potentially biggest features is here: custom algorithms, or what it calls “custom feeds”. The idea is that you can subscribe to feeds with algorithms tuned to show different kinds of posts than what you might see in Bluesky’s main “What’s Hot” feed.
In practice, the custom feeds work much like Twitter lists. Like these, you can pin specific custom feeds and they will appear at the top of your timeline as different tabs for you to choose from. You can choose which feeds to pin in a new “My Feeds” menu in the sidebar of the app. By default, that tab includes feeds for “What’s Hot” (“Top trending content from across the network”), “What’s Hot Classic” (“The original What’s Hot experience”), “Bluesky Team” (“Messages from members of the Bluesky Team”) and “Popular With Friends” (“A mix of popular content from accounts you follow and content you like”).
My Feeds also has a section to discover new feeds. There are already plenty of options, including tame feeds, like “Cat Pics” and “Music,” as well as feeds that cater to Bluesky’s weirder side, like “Hellthread Feed” and “What’s Alf.” Best of all, you don’t actually have to pin feeds, which means if you want, you can set things up so you only see a reverse chronological timeline of posts from the people you follow.
So far I really like the implementation of these custom feeds. It’s nice to feel like I have some control over what’s served to me algorithmically, especially in a world where Elon Musk’s posts can take over Twitter and TikTok’s feed is extremely good at getting me into the app. to hold. And I wouldn’t be surprised if I often limit myself to the feed of people I follow – I have enough distractions in my life already.
“We want a future where you control what you see on social media,” Bluesky CEO Jay Graber wrote in a March blog post about the platform’s view on algorithmic choice. “We aim to replace the conventional ‘master algorithm’ managed by one company with an open and diverse ‘marketplace of algorithms’.”
Custom feeds are now available in the latest version of the mobile apps and on Bluesky’s web client, bsky.app. However, the Twitter alternative remains invite-only, so the only way you can try this yourself is if you already have an account or if someone sends you an invite code. (I don’t have spare parts, sorry!)