Artifact: the AI-powered news app, created by Instagram co-founders, is now live

Artifact: the AI-powered news app, created by Instagram co-founders, is now live
So you probably know what a news feed client is. Even if you are not using one, basically any platform that can serve up a curated list of news topics from across different publications is considered a news feed. And nowadays, even if you aren’t interested in keeping up with the latest news, feeds are everywhere: even in your browser!

Well, yesterday a new fighter entered the fray: Artifact. The app is created by two of the co-founders of Instagram, and is noteworthy for being powered by AI. Said AI is working in the background to get a grasp of what sort of stories you are into, while still offering some handy tools to filter out anything that isn’t to your liking.

So basically, the goal here is to help users create an ultra-curated feed of content. Sounds a tad familiar to some prolific social media networks, but let's not digress.

Artifact is live right now and available for both iOS and Android smartphones. The app is free and will allow you to use it without signing up via phone number, but you can also do that if you’d like to save your profile. And we’ll get back to why that might be important a bit later on again.

The setup process is really simple and easy to follow. The app provides you with a list of topics from which you can choose the ones you are interested in. Then you can add any paid subscriptions to news publications you might have. Naturally, the app will want to send you notifications about breaking news, but you can kindly decline the offer.

The AI will need some help in order to get to know you better though. You’ll have to read at least 25 stories per day for a 14-day period in order for it to start recommending the type of content you are looking for. It is kind of cool that the app has a dedicated section to show your progress towards this goal.

On that same section, you can also sign up through adding a mobile number in order to save your progress. And you might want to do that, especially if you’ve opted to complete the aforementioned 14-day challenge. The app has no indication of the sign-up costing anything, and it doesn’t look like it would pester you restlessly through SMS pokes.

Given that Artifact is developed by co-founders of Instagram, is it any wonder that it also has some social features? Not annoying ones, mind you. You can invite some friends to the app, and it will periodically let you know what type of content they are interested in, which is an interesting way of peeping on your buddies online.

In typical news feed fashion, you’ve got the ever-coveted Read Later list, but you also have a Reading History section, so that you can get back to an article that you’ve come to appreciate over time. If you use the app long enough, it will even provide you with stats like what your favorite publications and topics are, which is always neat. This may be the next hit Year in Review type of thing, but for non-audiophiles!

Overall, Artifact is simple to set up, very easy to navigate and the browsing experience is so fluid that it is kind of addicting. But again, is it any wonder, given who conceptualized it? While it is too early for us to tell if the AI is truly as good as it is made out to be, but even beyond that, Artifact is a great first choice for anyone looking to get into “the know”.

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