What is Artifact? Instagram’s Co-founders Announce a TikTok for Articles

Artifact, the new platform created by Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, has been excitingly received by social media users everywhere as “the TikTok for text.”


So, really, it's for adults who want to use TikTok and join in with all the dogs and dancing, but then realise that they've got taxes to pay and garages to clean out. 

The co-founders left Facebook in 2018 amid tensions with the company, and have re-emerged to announce the rollout on Instagram.

Mike wrote, “Excited to announce what @kevin and I have been working on with a talented team the past year+ — Artifact, a personalized news feed driven by the latest in artificial intelligence.”

This innovative app provides an alternative to video-based platforms like TikTok, allowing users to express themselves in a more text-focused manner.

Basically, it’s a tailored news feed powered by artificial intelligence, with potential social aspects in the future.

The name itself describes what its goal is, being a combination of "articles, facts, and artificial intelligence."

As explained by Platformer:

“The app opens to a feed of popular articles chosen from a curated list of publishers ranging from leading news organizations like the New York Times to small-scale blogs about niche topics.

Tap on articles that interest you and Artifact will serve you similar posts and stories in the future, just as watching videos on TikTok’s For You page tunes its algorithm over time.”

The app follows the popular ‘For You’ page style that has propelled TikTok’s popularity, thanks to its ability to provide a highly personalised experience using in-app actions.

Currently, the social aspects of Artifact are in development, as well as the following feed and messaging. The beta is testing two features. One is a feed with articles posted by people you follow and the subsequent comments, and the other is a direct-message inbox where you can privately discuss articles.

But, overall, their main aim is to use machine learning to keep users engaged.

Artifact will be selective about the content, and content providers, it allows on the app. In a presumed rebuttal to traditional social media, they state that it will remove posts that promote falsehoods.

The creators of Artifact had several goals when designing their app – making sure conversations were concise yet valuable; encouraging meaningful dialogue; developing an inclusive platform with creative formatting tools; and providing a reliable way for users to connect with others who share similar interests.

In terms of how this will affect marketers and content, we’ll have to keep an eye out. If this app becomes popular and picks up all the disillusioned Twitter stragglers, it’ll be another algorithm to understand.

However, it offers a specific opportunity to reach individuals who are highly interested in a topic and looking to engage with a subject, rather than there to be social and being collaterally pummelled with social media promotions and content. Of course, this app will be used to promote and market, but this means it can be done in a much more natural way, allowing readers to find your content, without playing the dreaded Google SEO game.

But the algorithm is yet to be revealed. It will be a good opportunity for content marketers, so it’ll be guns at the ready.

At the moment the app is gradually letting people into the app as the company grows, but currently, people can join the waitlist.