An option to Twitter/X Bluesky is getting ready for one of the biggest weekends in social media by putting out news feeds just for Super Bowl fans. One feed is all about talks about the big game, and the other is about Taylor Swift. She’s planning to go to support her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
Fans of different sports have different opinions on how much attention was paid to Swift’s participation at Kelce’s games this season. This led the NFL to defend its coverage of the pop star, especially after Kelce said that the NFL was “overdoing it.”
But this disagreement is also a great chance to show that Bluesky supports algorithmic choice, which is one of the things that makes the company that wants to become a decentralized Twitter stand out.
Instead of being stuck in one main feed that is controlled by algorithms, Bluesky users don’t have to. Instead, the platform lets users make their own custom feeds that give them different ways to view its public material. Some of these are made by the Bluesky team, like the “What’s Hot” feed with posts that are popular at the moment. Others are made by community members, like the news feed with posts from reputable news sources or the animal pictures feed. Developers have also made custom feed creation tools, such as Bluesky Feed Creator and Skyfeed, which let anyone use a visual editor to make their own feeds.
Bluesky chose to show off the power of its custom feeds with two versions for the Super Bowl. One is a Super Bowl LVIII feed that will help football fans find each other on the growing social network. One feed is similar to the other, but there is talk about Taylor Swift in the middle of the exchange. Bluesky was very smart to call this one “SB (Taylor’s Version).”
Known Bluesky team member Emily Liu said that the idea behind the different feeds came from the fact that “some football fans have strong feelings about *not* seeing any TS-related content in their football news.”
In spite of how silly and fun this use case may seem, it’s a great example of how to use artificial choice to make your social media more relevant to your interests.
You can make your own Bluesky by pinning the feeds you like to your home page. This makes your Bluesky special. You can pick from a lot of different unique feeds. Some feeds are topical, like these new Super Bowl feeds, and others just give you a different view of your network. For example, there are feeds that show posts from your “Mutuals,” “Popular with Friends,” or “Quiet Posters,” which means that these are people who don’t talk much and whose posts you might have missed otherwise.
Bluesky isn’t known for having a lot of sports fans, but it has gotten more attention since it opened up to everyone this week, after a long time of only inviting people. This made some people wonder if it came too late. But that side of things looks good for the new network so far. As of today, 1.3 million more people have joined Bluesky since it opened on Tuesday. That’s more monthly active users than Mastodon currently has. Mastodon is an open source alternative to Twitter that works with a different set of rules. Bluesky has more than 4.5 million users as of Friday afternoon.
Also Read: Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift Leave His New Year’s Eve Game Together After the Chiefs Win
We still don’t know if individual feeds will be a long-term draw. X has been fairly stable, even though it now has a lot of competitors, ranging from small startups to tech giants like Meta. As Twitter, the network was the place to go for real-time sports commentary, analysis, and fan responses. Football fans may find it hard to break this habit, even if new tools for managing their networks come out.
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