Instagram co-founders bid farewell to AI-powered news app, Artifact, citing market challenges

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In a surprising turn of events, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of Instagram, are shutting down their highly anticipated news app, Artifact, just shy of its one-year anniversary. The announcement, delivered through a Medium post by Systrom, outlined that the app’s core news reading features would remain accessible until the end of February, but commenting and posting capabilities were immediately disabled.

Renowned for its AI-centric functionalities and a Reddit-like interactive environment, Artifact garnered attention not only for its famous founders but also for its innovative approach to news consumption. The app’s reporter-friendly features, such as dedicated author pages had come in hor high praise, and it secured a prominent spot in Apple and Google’s app stores.

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Systrom Acknowledges Challenges and Opportunities

In a blog post, CEO Kevin Systrom stated, “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.” The wind-down process has already commenced, with users unable to add new comments or posts, though the platform will continue to provide news access until the end of February.

While Systrom remained tight-lipped about his future endeavours, the note hinted at a potential venture into a new AI-focused project. “I am personally excited to continue building new things, though only time will tell what that might be,” he expressed, emphasising the transformative era of artificial intelligence that is reshaping various aspects of our lives.

Artifact’s Journey Since January 2023

Artifact, since its launch in January 2023, introduced an array of features such as AI-powered article summaries, the ability to comment within the app, and a unique feature allowing users to mark articles as clickbait and then rewrite them using AI.

The team of eight individuals working on Artifact will now disband, as Systrom expressed eagerness about venturing into new projects.

As Artifact fans bid farewell, they have a few more weeks to savour the app’s features before it bids its final adieu to the digital realm.

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