Bluesky says no ‘heads of state’ allowed on its Twitter-like platform for now

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Bluesky, the buzzy social media platform that’s emerging as a Twitter competitor, said on Friday that it will not allow “heads of state” on the service yet, as the fledgling company seeks to control its growth during its beta testing phase.

In a post on Bluesky’s official account Friday afternoon, the company said that its “current policy is that we cannot accommodate heads of state to join us in our beta yet.” The app, which launched in beta testing mode at the end of February, is still in the process of developing or fine-tuning key features, including content moderation.

The invite-only social media app has grown to roughly 60,000 users, and currently has a waiting list of 1.2 million people. Among some of the big names already on the app are U.S representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and CNN anchor Jake Tapper. In the post on Friday, Bluesky said that “we appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm in sending invitations” but ask that people give the team a heads up before inviting prominent figures.

The decision to exclude national presidents and other leaders, even temporarily, is an interesting move in a social media landscape that thrives on the presence of well-known figures who act as magnets that draw more users to a platform.

Many of the users currently on Bluesky have joined seeking an alternative to Twitter, following the changes instituted by new Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk. Since purchasing Twitter for $44 billion last year, Musk has reinstated controversial users who had previously been banned from the service and removed verification badges from users unless they pay a monthly subscription.

Bluesky was originally spun out of Twitter by Jack Dorsey when he was CEO in 2019, and after he chose Bluesky CEO Jay Graber to run the company, the team struck out on their own and became an independent company in 2021. The 9-person Bluesky team is currently working on the development of two interconnected technologies: a user-facing app that closely resembles the look and feel of Twitter, and an underlying protocol that will serve as an open-source framework, allowing other developers to construct their own social apps on top of it.

The company did not respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

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