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Artifact shuts down in just a year since inception

The AI-powered news aggregation service by Instagram’s co-founders, Artifact, shut down as a result of a low user interest

Artifact shuts down

In a striking turn of events, Artifact, an innovative AI-driven news application crafted by Instagram’s founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, is ceasing operations merely a year since its inception. Despite its advanced algorithmic design to tailor news content to individual preferences, Artifact did not resonate sufficiently with a broad user base, leading to its untimely demise.

Kevin Systrom, in a reflective blog post, acknowledged the passionate niche following for Artifact but conceded that the market potential did not justify further investment in the venture. Commencing its gradual shutdown, Artifact has disabled new comments and posts, while maintaining access to news content until the end of February.

Since its launch at the outset of 2023, Artifact had expanded its feature set significantly. Innovations included AI-generated summaries of articles, in-app commenting, and a unique functionality allowing users to flag and algorithmically rewrite clickbait articles. The platform evolved beyond mere news aggregation, incorporating social sharing elements akin to Twitter and enabling users to share diverse web content. However, as Systrom notes, features such as commenting necessitated extensive moderation, a demand that exceeded the capabilities of their modest team.

The closure means that the team of eight behind Artifact will go their separate ways, with Systrom expressing enthusiasm for future ventures in the AI domain, hinting at the boundless possibilities yet to be explored in this field. 

A couple of us at Unboxed, in the recent past, were drawn towards the simple news aggregator-like layout and impressive personalisation features. With the shutting down of Artifact, we will have to move towards platforms like OneSub for our news consumption. 

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