After a few years of staying mostly under the radar, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are back with a new project. It’s an app called Artifact, a name Systrom is designed to evoke the project’s three tenants: “articles, facts and artificial intelligence.” In short, it’s a news aggregation app driven by a TikTok-like recommendation algorithm.
When you first launch Artifact, you’ll see a central feed populated by stories from publications like The New York Times. As you read more articles, the app will begin personalizing your feed. According to Systrom, the recommendation system Artifact’s team of seven built prioritizes how long you spend reading about certain subjects over clicks and comments. He added Artifact will feature news stories from both left and right-leaning outlets, though the company won’t allow posts that “promote falsehoods.”
In the future, the app will also feature a social component. Systrom and Krieger plan to roll out a feed that will highlight articles from users you follow, alongside their commentary on that content. Additionally, you’ll be able to privately discuss posts through a direct-message inbox. At the moment, Systrom and Krieger are funding the project with their own money. They say Artifact represents a first attempt to imagine what the next generation of social apps could look like. If you want to give what they created a try, you can join a waiting list for the app’s iOS and Android beta. Systrom said the team plans to invite new users quickly.