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Instagram founders open Artifact news app to everyone

The Artifact news app.
Artifact

Instagram’s a hard act to follow, but the app’s two creators are having a go with a new effort called Artifact.

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released the news app at the end of January, but those interested in checking it out had to join a waitlist to access it.

On Wednesday, Artifact opened up to one and all, allowing news addicts everywhere to take the iOS and Android app for a spin.

Artifact is essentially a personalized news feed that’s “powered by artificial intelligence.” When you open it for the first time, the app asks you to select at least 10 topics that interest you. The list takes up two screens and includes numerous options under the headings of most popular; lifestyle; health; tech and science; business and finance; arts, design, and culture; sports; global and more.

You can then add any subscriptions that you have to prominent news organizations, with the app promising to prioritize content from those publications in your news feed.

With AI driving the app, Artifact should improve its selections the more that a person uses it. The app recommends it’ll take at least 25 article selections before it starts to get a handle on your news tastes, and it will continue to adapt after that.

Artifact defaults to a For You tab upon opening, and beside it sit tabs for the selections you made at the start. Hit a news topic in any of the other tabs and then explore the headlines for that. If you’re not happy with a suggested article, give it a thumbs-down to help the app make better suggestions next time.

The latest version of Artifact offers tools to help you personalize your experience, and also visualizes your reading history by offering stats linked to how you’re using it. It also lets you see what’s popular in your network by connecting you with your contacts to find out what news items they’re engaging with. “By connecting your contacts, you’ll start seeing articles with a special badge when they’ve been read by at least several of your contacts,” the Artifact team says on its website.

The team is also encouraging direct feedback from users so that it can further improve how the app looks and works.

It must be a daunting task launching a news app in an already very crowded field, but Systrom and Krieger know a thing or two about building a successful app, and it’s this reputation that will likely persuade many folks to give Artifact a try.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in exploring other news apps of note, then Digital Trends has you covered.

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