Credit: Screenshot / Artifact

Artifact, an AI-curated news app, is set to shut down after running for just a year following its inception by Instagram’s former founders.

Co-founder Kevin Systrom announced on Medium, “We have built something that a core group of users love, but we have concluded that the market opportunity isn’t big enough to warrant continued investment in this way… We live in an exciting time where artificial intelligence is changing just about everything we touch, and the opportunities for new ideas seem limitless.”

In Memoriam: The tech that died in 2023

The app was launched in Jan. 2023 with a focus on providing a personalized news feed driven by AI. By April of the same year, it expanded to include content creation, customizable profiles, comment threads, and a voting system, resembling aspects of Reddit’s user experience. However, concerns were raised about moderation issues once Artifact introduced “reputation scores.” These changes aimed to make the app more engaging for users, but ultimately led to challenges.

Systrom and Mike Krieger, who left Instagram to explore new ventures, including addressing the struggles in the news industry and overwhelmed user habits, co-founded Artifact. Systrom emphasized the need for technological intervention to support and elevate news and information institutions in the face of existential threats pervasive across the industry.

Despite positive reception early on from both professionals and users, Artifact couldn’t compete with the pace of popular social media platforms and the diminishing allure of AI. As a result, commenting and posting capabilities have been disabled, with the app set to be discontinued at the end of February.

Artificial Intelligence
Social Media
Chase sitting in front of a green-framed window.

Chase DiBenedetto
Social Good Reporter

Chase, who joined Mashable’s Social Good team in 2020, covers online stories related to digital activism, climate justice, accessibility, and media representation, often unpacking how these discussions intersect with politics, popular culture, and fandom.


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