instagram co-founders have officially launched artifact

Artifact, the news reading app developed by the co-founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, has been made available to the general public and they can already enjoy some new features that the two successful developers have added to it.

It has been roughly a month since the pair revealed what they were working on. At the time, Artifact was only available to a handful of users while others had to join a waitlist to give it a try. Now, anybody can download the application for iOS and Android devices.

Back when Artifact was only available to US users who joined the waitlist, the co-founders of the app said that over 160,000 have signed up to give it a try. The AI technology used by the app is Google’s Transformer, which is also the baseline used by OpenAI to create ChatGPT.

Systrom and Krieger believe that Artifact merges one big trend that is shaping the tech industry – artificial intelligence (AI) – with something they know deeply, which is building appealing social media platforms.

“What you should expect from Artifact over the next year is, I think, divergence from the norm. I think people will be happily surprised that there was, in fact, a lot of room for innovation around news and publishing”, Systrom commented.

I Gave Artifact a Try – Here’s How it Look

The developing team has included some upgrades to the app. The first and perhaps most interesting one is the possibility of connecting with other people through the app, which makes Artifact a news-focused social media. In addition, any articles that the user would like to read later can be saved. Those can be found on the “Read Later” option within the profile tab.

Users can check which articles have been read by their network of friends as those will be marked by a special badge. In addition, users can keep track of what they have read and go back to any article they may have found interesting as a reading history tab can be accessed from the profile section once you have gone through the first ten pieces.

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At this point, it is not necessary to sign up to use the app. However, a phone number can be added to the profile to save your preferences and browsing history. This is a must if you plan to install the app on multiple devices as you will use that number to pull all of your account data. It appears that only phone numbers from the United States are currently being accepted.

Once in there, one has to select which type of news he would like to get. The app provides a list of the most popular topics along with several categories including lifestyle, health, technology, science, business, finance, sports, and a few more. There are many sub-topics to choose from.

Those who are subscribed to newspapers such as the New York Times, the Financial Times, or The Atlantic can sign into their accounts so they can have access to all of the articles from these media outlets. Their articles will be prioritized in the user’s feed – the app claims.

Artifact’s User-Facing Interface Is Quite Polished and Works Great

The app’s interface divides the news that the user is presented with in multiple feeds. The “For You” feed is the curated selection of articles that the system delivers based on the user’s preferences. There are also separate feeds for every sub-category the user added and they can be added or eliminated at any given point.

Also read: Instagram Launches New Engagement Feature Called Channels

As time passes, the AI technology used by Artifact should deliver a more curated list of articles based on what the user has read in the past and his selection of topics. A search box is also available to browse the Artifact library for news pieces that may not make it to the top. In addition, if you dislike an article, you can click the “thumbs down” to no longer get similar recommendations.

The search function works quite well. I typed in the word “Artifact” to look for articles related to the launch of the app and several matches were displayed from top tech-focused magazines like TechCrunch and Engadget along with other less prominent media outlets. Interestingly, users can see how many times an article has been read by other Artifact users.

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