Instagram’s co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have launched a news discovery app called Artifact
, which is now available to the general public on both iOS and Android devices in English-speaking countries.
The app, first launched in January as an invite-only platform for selected users with US phone numbers, resembles a standard social media feed – but with news content.
Unlike most social media apps
that curate feed content based on sharing practices, Artifact displays news stories directly from publishers and the feed is personalized to each reader’s preferences. Artifact claims that it vets all publishers for integrity and factual correctness, among other things, to deliver high-quality, reliable information.
The new app employs machine learning and OpenAI’s GPT-4 technology
, the same technology that powers the premium ChatGPT version. GPT-4 can summarize news stories into bullet points, giving the user the opportunity to skim a summary before committing to reading the whole piece – although the company does warn that these AI-generated summaries may have mistakes.
GPT-4 in Artifact is also going after clickbait titles. Users can flag clickbait content, sending it to GPT-4 for analysis. If the algorithm concludes the title is misleading, it will come up with its own, more descriptive one. This practice will most certainly annoy publishers, who spend a great deal of time testing different titles.
Once the user spends more time on the app, it will analyze their clicks, time spent reading different topics, and preferences to curate a unique news feed. Users can also access this data, including the categories and publishers they engaged the most with, to get an insight into their news reading habits.
Artifact provides more privacy
than typical social media apps like Instagram and Twitter. For instance, the app doesn’t show the profile or number of people who read the article. The news stories must meet “a certain minimum threshold” to appear as popular in one’s network.
Artifact creators promised to provide users with greater control over how they consume news. Features like a click button that allows them to see more or less of a specific news piece, feed diversification, and advanced personalization are in the works. For now, users can select and unselect news categories and block and pause publishers.
Over time, it’s expected that Artifact will allow users to discuss the news within the app itself and like and share content. Systrom and Krieger unveiled that news discovery is only the starting point of a bigger and broader Artifact.