Former Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have launched a new venture. Artifact, their first product, is a personalized news feed that uses AI to adapt to your interests, with the extra function of allowing you to converse with friends.
The term is derived from a combination of three words: articles, facts, and artificial intelligence. It will use machine learning technologies to better analyze the kind of material consumers read online. This could include Substack blog pieces, Washington Post features, or general news coverage in mainstream or non-mainstream media.
The app is not yet publicly available, but there is a queue where interested people can sign up. As mentioned, it appears to be a modernized version of Google Reader, a long-defunct RSS newsreader program that Google shut down in 2013. Except in this case, Artifact is characterized as a newsreader that employs machine learning to personalize the experience for the end user while also including social components that allow users to debate articles they come across with peers.
After both creators launched Instagram in 2010, the app’s monthly usage and worth increased. When Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook Inc.) purchased Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, Krieger and Systrom stayed on and only resigned in 2018 after several issues with Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg were disclosed. They also pledged to experiment with their “creativity.”
The artifact appears to be the consequence of that inventiveness. It will first display a curated selection of news stories, but they will gradually become increasingly tailored to the user’s preferences. Some of the content will come from well-known publishers such as The New York Times, while others may originate from tiny websites. Other significant features will include comment controls, separate feeds for stories posted by people you follow along with their feedback, and a direct message inbox for more private discussions.
Systrom and Krieger first discussed Artifact a few years ago. Systrom was skeptical of machine-learning systems’ capacity to enhance recommendations at first, but his experience at Instagram changed his mind. He noticed that wherever machine learning was employed to improve the consumer experience, things became a lot better.
Artifact’s features are most usually related to TikTok, in which the app takes an algorithmic approach to content, in this instance giving users text instead of videos, but which is centered on what the user enjoys rather than merely showing content depending on who they follow.
Artifact, according to Systrom, is dedicated to delivering its users with high-quality news and information. To do this, the company will only include publishers who comply with editorial quality standards, and individual postings that propagate falsehoods will be removed.
In order to favor interesting content, machine-learning systems will be tailored to evaluate how long visitors spend reading about various themes rather than what produces the most clicks and comments.
Systrom and Krieger are now supporting Artifact with a team of seven people, including Robby Stein, a former senior product executive at Instagram. It is predicted that they will soon have investors interested in investing in the company.
Artifact is still in the early stages of development and has not yet been monetized, however a revenue share with publishers has been proposed as a viable option.
The app’s individual success may or may not matter in the end, given that the founders appear to aim to test various innovative social products through their new firm.
Artifact’s website is currently accepting sign-ups from persons with (+1) phone numbers in the United States.
The app appears to be fairly fascinating, and it may be useful if the AI is effective at its job and does not curate lists of items that the user does not want to read. It is not the first time that a tailored news app has been developed, and they have previously failed. The questions are: how clever will Artifact be, and will it surprise the user every day with stories they might not have discovered otherwise?