The AI-powered news reading app Artifact, built by Instagram’s co-founders, has been transforming itself into a more social experience over time with recent launches like profiles, commenting, link sharing and more. But yesterday, the app launched one of its most social features yet: the ability for users to post their own content directly on Artifact, without needing to include a link. Artifact co-founder Mike Krieger admitted there’s a “flavor” of Twitter in the app’s new direction as it could serve to highlight stories that people are talking about that day, similar to what happens on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Explained Krieger, speaking at the Code Conference on Wednesday, Twitter was known for its watercooler-like experience where people are discussing a news story or perhaps the day’s “main character” — someone who’s getting the most attention on the platform that day because of something they said or did.
“I think there’s a flavor of that that would be really fun to have in Artificat,” Kreiger said, “…like ‘is there the story that everybody is coalescing around?’” But, he added, “I think we need to get more skill to really feel like that’s the case.”
However, he doesn’t quite foresee Artifact as a Twitter/X competitor in the sense that it would be an app people turn to for fast-breaking news — something people already have good solutions for, he said. Instead, Krieger imagines Artifact would become a place that surfaces interesting content which then attracts community discussions. In other words, Artifact may be chasing more of the long tail of news that would put it into closer competition with other social news apps, like Flipboard, for example.
“I think people’s interests run much deeper than news,” Krieger added. In fact, he noted that when Artifact launched, they even tried not to use the word “news” in the title before realizing that would be a bit too obscure, since news content was what the app offered.
“But I think that longer, sort of deeper interest piece…I think is the really interesting, longer-term business,” Krieger continued.” People, for as long as there’s been media, have wanted to connect people with their interests, and I think we’re well positioned if we play our cards right and build the right products to be the next place where that can happen,” he said.