The creators of Instagram, having stepped away from the platform in 2018, are back with their newest idea—an artificial-intelligence (AI) news app called Artifact.
- Instagram co-creators Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger revealed Artifact in January, a machine-learning news platform that creates a custom news feed for users based on artificial intelligence.
- Instagram’s creators are aiming to hit success again, revealing on February 22 that their newest app is currently open to the public.
- Artifact allows users to personalize their feed with topics such as Lifestyle, Health, Tech & Science, Business & Finance, and more. It links paid subscription accounts to media sources and will eventually allow users to communicate through social features that are currently not available.
- The founders tell Platformer that the app isn’t pretending to be politically neutral. The app will curate information its creators deem to be false.
Why It’s Important
As the media industry fragments and transforms away from old media, the modern news landscape faces two significant challenges—mistrust and compartmentalization. Only 34% of Americans trust the news media due to scandals, partisanships, and bias. Additionally, social media users also have a tendency to curate news based on their own preferences, with Republicans preferring conservative sources and Democrats favoring liberal sources.
Several apps have emerged to address the state of news media—most notably Ground News, which curates stories through multiple sources and perspectives, tells you what percentage of partisan media sources are covering a specific topic, and offers you a nuanced view on current events.
Artifact is taking a decidedly more aggressive approach to curating information. After Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter and the app being swamped with trolls and alleged disinformation, Artifact’s creators are taking more of a stance. They tell Platformer that the app isn’t pretending to be politically neutral. The app will curate information its creators deem to be false.
“One of the issues with technology recently has been a lot of these companies’ unwillingness to make subjective judgments in the name of quality and progress for humanity. Right? Just make the hard decision,” says Systrom.
“Excited to announce what Kevin and I have been working on with a talented team the past year—Artifact, a personalized news feed driven by the latest in artificial intelligence. We’re gradually letting people in as we scale up; sign up for the waitlist at Artifact,” Krieger announced on Instagram.
“It feels like we’ve aggregated/subscribed to the news by topic, outlet, or writer simply because we didn’t have better tech, but human interests are far too nuanced to be perfectly aligned with one of those, so there’s an inevitable mismatch of content-to-reader. Love the idea of assessing each article individually to rank for what a specific reader wants,” says Systrom.
Backing up a bit
Instagram was launched on October 6, 2010. It rapidly became one of the most popular social media platforms, being bought by Facebook in 2012 and growing to 2.35 billion monthly active users—the fourth largest social media platform in the world.