Instagram Co-Founders' AI News App Is Live And Open To Everyone

Two of the co-founders of Instagram are bringing an AI-powered news app to Android and iOS users. A post from the team published on Medium reports that Artifact, the news feed application, is out of its waitlist phase and available for download now. Of course, releasing a news feed client in the current marketplace is a serious undertaking. The news app marketplace is dominated by established tech titans: major players include Google, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, and even Yahoo. 

According to Pew Research, Facebook and YouTube — that is, Meta and Google — cover half the people who routinely get their news online between them. News is not exactly a startup-friendly marketplace. At the same time, Artifact creators Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger were two of the key players in elevating Instagram from a simple image archive service to a global social media powerhouse. If the duo can achieve a similar paradigm shift in news aggregation, the ramifications could be significant.

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Artifact's core offer is personalization. Rather than getting into the difficult, sometimes ethically murky waters of third-party sponsored news or verifications for cash, Artifact will collect usage data and use an algorithm to deliver a personalized news feed that fits the user's interests and suits their reading habits.

Artifact's official tagline is "A personalized news feed powered by artificial intelligence." Astute observers will note that several of the big names in digital news already offer those things: Facebook has been personalizing its News Feed for the best part of a decade, and Google started using personal data to customize the audio news available through its AI-powered Google Assistant back in 2020.

That being the case, Artifact's success is likely to depend on execution rather than innovation. Artifact intends to differentiate itself from the competition through superior content curation, avoiding filter bubbles in favor of providing a range of news from different sources and tracking how users interact. If Artifact can deliver on that idea, it may well outcompete current news giants as a superior source of reliable information.