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  • Darshan Pareek

Artifact news app started by Instagram co-founders shuts down after a year

Image of a man holding a newspaper

Artifact news app created by Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, is closing down only a year after it started.

In a blog post, CEO Kevin Systrom said, “We made something that a group of users really likes, but we don't think there are enough people interested to keep working on it.” The app began its closure procedure on Saturday.

He continued, “I am particularly proud of all the work our small team of 8 has accomplished. For instance, our app was recently named the everyday essential app of the year by the Google Play Store.”

The app evolved from a SmartNews-like news reading app to a platform where users could curate and discover news, becoming creators by sharing interesting content from the web.

Several AI tools were employed to summarize news, rewrite clickbait headlines, and highlight the best content. However, the changes may have diluted the original value of the product, turning it into more of a Twitter replacement rather than a simple news app.

To allow users time to transition, the app will gradually shut down features, starting with the ability to comment and make posts. This is intended to reduce moderation efforts. Existing posts will remain visible, and the core news capability will operate until the end of February.

Artifact, launched in January 2023, added new features like AI-powered article summaries, the ability to comment on articles, and the option to mark articles as clickbait and rewrite them with AI. It expanded beyond news, allowing people to share web links and post Twitter-like messages.

However, Systrom explained that features like comments and posts needed a lot of monitoring, and the team didn't have enough staff for it.

Systrom mentioned that the eight-person team working on Artifact will go its separate ways. He's excited about building new things personally and believes there are limitless opportunities for new ideas in the AI field.


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