Instagram’s co-founders are shutting down their Artifact news app

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Just under a year after its launch, the fledgling news app Artifact is going away.

By Jay Peters, a news editor who writes about technology, video games, and virtual worlds. He’s submitted several accepted emoji proposals to the Unicode Consortium.

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A phone running Artifact.

The Artifact news app.

Image: Artifact

Artifact, the news app created by Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, is shutting down just a year after launch. The app used an AI-driven approach to suggest news that users might like to read, but it seems it didn’t catch on with enough people for the Artifact team to continue making the app.

“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,” CEO Kevin Systrom says in a blog post. The app is beginning to wind down today. Users can no longer add new comments or posts, and Artifact will still let you read news “through the end of February.”

Since launching at the end of January 2023, Artifact has added a bunch of new and interesting features, like AI-powered article summaries, the ability to comment on articles within Artifact, and the ability to mark articles as clickbait (and then rewrite them using AI). It’s broadened from just focusing on news by letting people post links to share cool stuff on the web and a Twitter-like posts feature. However, Systrom says features like comments and posts required “a fair amount of moderation and oversight” that it doesn’t have the staff to support.

Systrom says the team of eight people working on Artifact “will go our separate ways.” He adds that he’s “personally excited to continue building new things” and says that the opportunities for new ideas in the realm of AI “seem limitless.”