Bluesky corporate ownership and structure

Collecting details here from various places on Bluesky PBLLC‘s corporate structure, ownership, governance, and history, along with a few technical design decisions.


Today, we are excited to announce the formation of the Bluesky PBLLC, a Public Benefit LLC that will implement that vision as an independent organization….We were formed in late 2021 with the initial funding provided by Twitter. Our board members include Jack Dorsey, a founder of Twitter, Jeremie Miller, the inventor of Jabber/XMPP, and Jay Graber, CEO of the Bluesky company.

– Bluesky Blog: Announcing Bluesky PBLLC, Feb 7 2022

Bluesky was announced in 2019 but the legal entity itself was only recently set up…Bluesky began with an idea, developed into a community, and solidified into a company, in three stages. The formation of Bluesky, PBLLC at the end of 2021 marked the beginning of the most recent stage, where we now have funding and an organization to pursue our mission.

– Bluesky Blog: How it Started, Feb 28 2022

This summer, we converted from a public benefit LLC to a public benefit C Corp in order to gain more independence from the legacy of the past. Our mission and board have stayed the same.

– Bluesky Blog: Our Plan for a Sustainably Open Social Network, Jul 5, 2023

Bluesky has received $13 million to ensure we have the freedom and independence to get started on R&D. Former Twitter CEO @jack is on our board, & a former Twitter security engineer has joined the team.

– @bluesky on Twitter, Apr 25, 2022

Twitter’s funding of Bluesky is not subject to any conditions except one: that Bluesky is to research and develop technologies that enable open and decentralized public conversation.

– @bluesky on Twitter, Apr 25, 2022

We raised $8M in a seed round led by Neo, a community-led firm with amazing partners like Ali Partovi and Suzanne Xie, and a wonderful cast of additional investors including Joe Beda who co-created Kubernetes, Bob Young of Red Hat, Amjad Masad of Replit, Amir Shevat of Darkmode, Heather Meeker, Jeromy Johnson, Automattic, Protocol Labs, Sarah Drasner, Katelyn Donnelly, Ali Evans, Stav Erez, Kris Nóva, Brad Fitzpatrick, Abdul Ly, and many other operators who have much wisdom to share.

– Bluesky Blog: Our Plan for a Sustainably Open Social Network, Jul 5, 2023

The company is owned by the team itself, without any controlling stake held by Twitter.

– @bluesky on Twitter, Apr 25, 2022

Jay does hold the majority of the equity but everyone on the team has equity as well, and (currently) no outside investors even own any of the company (which is a public benefit LLC to boot)

– @whyrusleeping on Bluesky (public mirror), Apr 28 2023

twitter holds no stake. jack is 1 of 3 board members: me and are the others

– on Bluesky (public mirror), Apr 25 2023

why: Jack does have some advisors shares for serving on the board, but its quite a small amount IIRC. This is very standard practice for any board member of any company.
Ryan: I won’t make you quote a number, but I’ll assume it’s < 1%. “No equity” is a clearer and stronger message than “quite a small amount,” so I’m hoping to preserve the clarity as much as possible.
^ [liked by why]

– @why, on Bluesky

@moneyries: jack might sell y’all to the highest bidder, careful now
@jay: [he] can’t
@csm : Because of board structure? Or org structure?
@jay: jack doesn’t have unilateral power. he has 1/3 influence on the board. i’m the CEO

– thread on Bluesky (public mirror), Apr 25 2023 and others on Bluesky, asking about ownership (public mirror), Apr 25 2023 on Bluesky, asking about ownership (public mirror), Apr 25 2023

We set out to build a protocol where users can own their data and always have the freedom to leave, and this approach means that advertising couldn’t be our dominant business model. So, we’ve been exploring other avenues of monetization.

We believe that there must be better strategies to sustain social networks that don’t require selling user data for ads. Our first step in another direction is paid services, and we’re starting with custom domains.

– Bluesky Blog: Our Plan for a Sustainably Open Social Network, Jul 5, 2023


Open Source

The Bluesky code is open source. The main atproto repo includes the full server and PDS that runs the current live instance at, the reference AT Protocol and Bluesky API implementations, and all of the com.atproto and app.bsky lexicons. The social-app repo contains the web and mobile apps.

Beyond that, the indigo repo includes an in-progress PDS, invite handling, and other support code. The did-method-plc repo includes a did:plc reference implementation and registry, The bluesky-social GitHub org also has other miscellaneous repos with open source code.

Main server features and stack

The main live server (PDS) underneath and the mobile apps currently runs the TypeScript code in the main atproto repo. Docs and guides on running the PDS from that code are thin, but this one from the adenosine repo is useful, if a bit dated.

Federation between PDS instances is not currently enabled, but the team hopes to finish it and turn it on soon. A few people outside the team are already running their own PDSes, notably and (RIP), which ran Bluesky’s open source TypeScript code with an extension to support their Handshake blockchain-based domain names. These third party PDSes are currently islands that don’t communicate with each other.

Search on the main server is currently powered by Elastic. That integration is probably not open source, and it seems to be a one-off, ie not really part of AT Protocol’s future “big world” indexing design.


The Bluesky team was well aware of and understood ActivityPub, the protocol underlying the fediverse, before they decided to create their own protocol. The main reason they didn’t go with AP was that they wanted true account portability:

Account portability is the major reason why we chose to build a separate protocol. We consider portability to be crucial because it protects users from sudden bans, server shutdowns, and policy disagreements.

– FAQ: Why not use ActivityPub?

Mastodon does have non-standard, partial support for account migration between two Mastodon instances. It moves your followers and displays a human-readable “redirect” on the old account’s profile. Mastodon also has separate support for exporting your posts, but it can’t re-import them. These have awkward UX at best, but more importantly, when you use them to migrate Mastodon accounts, your fediverse identity changes from user@old to user@new. AT Protocol’s account portability preserves your identity across migrations, and works even if your server goes offline or malicious.

Other motivations included for a new protocol included global indexing support, a preference for domain names as identities instead of @-@ handles, and stronger schema support in the data model.

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