Bluesky, a decentralized social network supported by Jack Dorsey, has launched a paid domain service with Namecheap as a means for users to verify their identities. When a company relies on advertisements, the team wrote in a blog post about its intentions to make Bluesky self-sustaining that “users become the product.” Since Bluesky’s objective was to “build a protocol where users can own their data,” it decided to investigate “other avenues of monetization” instead. Notably, the social app began as a Twitter-funded initiative, but since Elon Musk has taken control, it has lost its connection to the website.
The team considered offering paid services, beginning with domain names, as an alternative to advertising revenue. Users can already create custom domains for use with Bluesky, but they must go through a distinct procedure with a domain registrar first. This integration is rumored to make this possible in less than a few minutes. They can simply sign in to their account, search for a domain name to use as an alias, and pay for it all through Bluesky’s interface. For a Twitter competitor without a centralized verification system, a domain name is the easiest method for a user to verify that they are who they claim to be. For example, senators of the United States have reportedly used the senate.gov domain to verify their identities.
Users of the integrated service will be able to administer their domain settings and configurations within Bluesky and forward emails sent to their domains to an address of their choosing. They may also choose to redirect their domain to their Bluesky profile or another URL. And if they decide to quit the platform or switch registrars, they can transfer their domain away.
According to Bluesky’s announcement, domain integration is the first of what could be a number of paid services available on the platform. It says it is investigating other services it “can bundle for users to provide a more seamless experience.” However, Bluesky is still in private beta, and those who are intrigued must sign up for a waiting list before they can participate.