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Instagram Founder's New App, Artifact

Published: at 12:15 PM

Casey Newton on Platformer

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are back.

The Instagram co-founders, who departed Facebook in 2018 amid tensions with their parent company, have formed a new venture to explore ideas for next-generation social apps. Their first product is Artifact, a personalized news feed that uses machine learning to understand your interests and will soon let you discuss those articles with friends.

Artifact — the name represents the merging of articles, facts, and artificial intelligence — is opening up its waiting list to the public today. The company plans to let users in quickly, Systrom says. You can sign up yourself here; the app is available for both Android and iOS.

This was launched a week ago, but I wanted to play with it a bit before writing about it.

It’s slick. That is unsurprising coming from these two.

More importantly, the link suggestions are actually really good. They also seem to get better every day. I find myself opening it up multiple times a day.

The main problem is that the core reading experience is no different than the core reading experience on the rest of the web. That is the #1 thing that is going to hold this app back for me.

I’m excited to see a new take on content discovery on the web. We need it.