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Instagram cofounders' news app Artifact is shutting down

Artifact News App Shutdown

Kevin Systrom's and Mike Kreiger's news aggregator app Artifact is shutting down after almost a year of existence. The app, which is managed by a team of eight people, was initially launched in private beta in January last year.

Both Systrom and Kreiger have previously co-founded the popular photo and video-sharing platform Instagram, which was acquired by Meta Platforms, Inc. (then known as Facebook, Inc.) for $1 billion in 2012. Systrom, who serves as the CEO of Artifact's developer Nokto, Inc, explained in a Medium post that it's not feasible to maintain the app:

We’ve made the decision to wind down operations of the Artifact app. We launched a year ago and since then we’ve been working tirelessly to build a great product. 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. It’s easy for startups to ignore this reality, but often making the tough call earlier is better for everyone involved.

Artifact uses AI-powered features to suggest news content to its readers. It rolled out a Summaries Tool, which people can use to summarize news stories in a few bullet points. The AI tool can summarize a story in different styles such as GenZ, Poem, and Explain Like I'm Five (ELI5). The news app prioritizes articles in your feed depending on the writers you follow. Google Play Store picked Artifact as the best everyday essential app of 2023.

Artifact's "core news reading capability" will remain active through the end of February. However, you won't be able to add new comments and posts as "this type of content requires a fair amount of moderation and oversight and we will not have the staff going forward to support these features."

The posts you have previously made on the app will be visible to you on your profile self-view. "While we’ve made this decision, we wanted to make sure that we allowed the community time to adjust. So, today we’ve decided to slim down the app’s complexity and operations," Systrom wrote.

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