Instagram founders prepare Artifact, a social network for news

Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger left Meta (from when it was still called Facebook) some time ago and seem to have invested that time in developing a new platform. It’s called Artifact, and it seems to be a more text-focused network, even though their previous success was focused more on visuals. That’s because the idea behind Artifact is to give users access to a personalized news feed.

Artifact could be the social network without fake news

Basically, Artifact could be the first social network focused solely on delivering news content. It sounds like a kind of RSS reader, like Feedly, combined with social and AI algorithms to deliver content that’s best moulded to users’ real interests. To avoid fake news, which is extremely popular on traditional social media networks despite efforts to stop it, Artifact will only deliver verified content from both world-renowned publications and local or regional publications.

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Social media features will be centered around discussion in topic-based comments, and sharing articles on personal profiles. You’ll be able to see a personalised news feed based on interests, as well as a feed of news that friends in your list have republished. There will also reportedly be the ability to discuss topics privately with friends from one of the articles published on personal profiles.

It remains to be seen whether a news-focused concept like Artifact has a place in the market, as many of the interactions on Facebook and Twitter are already centered around news articles. Still, some of the audience on both networks might at least give Artifact a try, first because there’s a lot of fake news on Facebook and Twitter, and second because Elon Musk seems to have kind of destabilized the balance on the network he just bought and revoked older rules that kept adversarial discussions in check.

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Currently, Artifact allows signups on the official stie with a phone number, with some of those signed up to receive priority access when the platform launches. Presumably the phone number will be the one used to sign up for an account, unlike many other services, which prefer an email address.

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