Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have returned with a new “text-based” app named Artifact.
According to Systrom, the name was chosen to represent the app’s three pillars: “articles, facts, and artificial intelligence.” Essentially, it’s a news aggregation app powered by a recommendation algorithm similar to TikTok.
Upon launching Artifact, users will initially see a central feed with stories from sources like The New York Times. As you continue to read articles, the app will personalize the feed based on your interests.
Systrom stated that the recommendation system, developed by a team of seven, prioritizes the time spent reading about a subject over clicks and comments. He also noted that Artifact will feature news stories from both left and right-leaning outlets, but posts that “promote falsehoods” will not be allowed.
In the future, Artifact will include a social aspect. The co-founders plan to launch a feed that showcases articles from followed users along with their commentary.
Users will also have the option to privately discuss posts through a direct-message inbox. Currently, Systrom and Krieger are financing the project with their own funds.
They view Artifact as a first attempt at envisioning the next generation of social apps. If you are interested in trying it out, you can join the waiting list for the iOS and Android beta. Systrom stated that the team intends to invite new users promptly.