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Artifact, News App by Instagram Co-founders, to Shut Down After One Year

Artifact, the news app created by Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, is shutting down just a year after its launch. Despite introducing innovative features, including an AI-driven approach to suggest personalized news articles, the app did not gain sufficient traction in the market. Kevin Systrom, the CEO of Artifact, mentioned in a blog post that the team has built something loved by a core group of users. However, they have concluded that the market opportunity isn't substantial enough to warrant continued investment in the app.

Since its launch in January 2023, Artifact added several features, such as AI-powered article summaries, the ability to comment on articles within the app, and the option to mark articles as clickbait, followed by AI-powered rewrites. The platform expanded beyond news by allowing users to post links to share interesting web content and incorporating a Twitter-like posts feature. Despite these additions, Systrom acknowledged that features like comments and posts required a significant amount of moderation and oversight, which the small team of eight people working on Artifact couldn't support adequately.

Artifact is currently in the process of winding down, with users no longer able to add new comments or posts. The app will continue to allow users to read news until the end of February. Systrom stated that the team would go their separate ways after Artifact's closure. He expressed personal excitement about continuing to build new things and highlighted the seemingly limitless opportunities for new ideas in the field of artificial intelligence.

The closure of Artifact highlights the challenges even experienced tech entrepreneurs face in launching successful products in a highly competitive market. Despite the co-founders' pedigree from Instagram, the news app struggled to find a broad user base, emphasizing the difficulty in predicting which products will resonate with consumers.

Artifact logo on white background

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