It has been just over four years since Instagram’s founders left the social media company and now, they are back with a new app. This week, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced the launch of Artifact, a personalised news feed app that relies on artificial intelligence in order to tackle the spread of misinformation online, according to the Financial Times who spoke to Systrom.
So, what exactly is this new app and does it have the power to completely revolutionise our world the way Instagram did? MARKETING-INTERACTIVE dug a little deeper to find out more.
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What is Artifact?
Artifact is a “personalised news feed driven by artificial intelligence (AI)”, according to its site. The app was announced by Systrom and Krieger on Twitter where the pair invited users to sign up and join the community.
The app is still in private beta mode but in an interview with Platformer, a site for social network and platform news, Systrom said that the simplest way to understand the app is to think of it as a TikTok for text. The app opens to a feed of popular articles that have been carefully chosen from a curated list of publishers. These publishers will include sites such as The New York Times, small-scale blogs focusing on niche topics and more. When you tap on an article, Artifact’s algorithm will take note and deliver similar posts and stories for you in the future.
According to the Financial Times, the app also uses AI to ensure that it avoids “filter bubbles” by also promoting content that may challenge previously held views. The app essentially encapsulates its name and represents the merging of articles, facts, and artificial intelligence.
What is the private beta all about?
Currently, you can sign up with your phone number to be put on a waitlist for the app. Users are being onboarded on the app and when they do, will see a central ranked feed with features that Systrom and Krieger are still testing. One is a feed that will show articles posted by users you have chosen to follow and the second is a direct-message inbox so you can discuss and share the posts you read privately with friends. The app is available for both Android and iOS.
Could it possibly rival other social media apps?
Considering how Instagram revolutionised the world, it’s safe to say that many are questioning how big a threat Artifact will be to other social media apps such as Twitter and TikTok. However, its founders seem to think the app is mainly timely in a world filled with misinformation.
“[It is] a particularly timely moment both in the technology industry, with Twitter’s takeover by Elon and Facebook’s focus on the Metaverse,” Systrom told the Financial Times. “And it is particularly a timely moment to focus on text when we need it most because of people’s attention to misinformation and how we consume news today.”
Saying that, Systrom also hopes that Artifact will eventually become a potential competitor to Twitter for lifestyle articles and news.
“There is certainly some overlap [but] only in a particular area,” he said to The Financial Times, adding: “Twitter is one of the most important social media properties in the world, and it deserves to have a leader who believes in it and wants to make it great. And that is all I have seen from Elon.”
For now, time will only tell as the app goes through its beta process and as we wait for its official launch into the world.
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