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Jack Dorsey Unveils New Social Media Company, As Elon Musk Finalized Twitter Deal

Jack Dorsey

Just as Elon Musk was finalizing his purchase of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, the company’s founder and former CEO, announced a beta for a new social-media company.

Dorsey’s blockchain-based Bluesky Social announced last Tuesday that it’s launching soon and is currently enlisting users for beta testing. The initial news drew 30,000 sign-ups within two days, company representatives said. Users can still sign up to join the app to become a beta user before the platform is publicly available.

Bluesky’s website said it’s intended to support “a new foundation for social networking which gives creators independence from platforms, developers the freedom to build, and users a choice in their experience.” According to Gizmodo, one of its Bluesky’s main selling points is that its technology — which it calls “AT Protocol” — will give users control of their algorithms.

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Dorsey had said in 2019 that Twitter was funding work into developing “an open and decentralized standard for social media.”

In private text messages between Dorsey and Musk that became public in the course of Musk and Twitter’s months-long legal saga, Dorsey said, “A new platform is needed. It can’t be a company. That’s why I left.” He went on to say Twitter should have an “open-sourced protocol” similar to the encrypted-messaging app Signal, adding that Twitter “can’t have an advertising model.”

Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006 and had several years-long stints as CEO, most recently from 2015 to November of 2021, when he stepped down. Parag Agrawal, who was then chief technology officer of the company, replaced him. Shortly after taking over Twitter this week, Musk fired Agrawal, as well as Ned Segal, the chief financial officer; Vijaya Gadde, the legal chief; and Sean Edgett, the general counsel.

Musk reportedly fired them “for cause” to avoid having to pay severance payments and unvested stock awards, a person familiar with the matter told The Information.

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