SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

Instagram’s founders are back with a new app

Feb 1, 2023, 5:00 AM

Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger (left) and Kevin Systrom are pictured here during the 2019 SXSW ...

Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger (left) and Kevin Systrom are pictured here during the 2019 SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas, in March of 2019. Photo credit: Jim Bennett/WireImage/Getty Images

(left)

(CNN) — More than four years after Instagram’s founders left the company, they’re back with a new app.

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger on Tuesday announced the launch of Artifact, an app that promises “a personalized news feed” powered by artificial intelligence.

In an Instagram post, Krieger said he and Systrom “have been working with a talented team” for more than a year to launch the service. “We’re gradually letting people in as we scale up,” Krieger wrote. A wait list to join opened to the public Tuesday.

Unlike Instagram, the app is more focused on articles rather than photos. Artifact will recommend content based on interests and allow for discussion with friends, according to Platformer, which was first to report the launch. A main feed will display popular articles from large media organizations down to smaller bloggers, and a user’s feed will grow more personalized based on what they click on.

Artifact did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on more details.

The launch comes at a time of renewed activity in the social media world. In the wake of upheaval and uncertainty at Twitter under new owner Elon Musk, a number of newer services have found traction helping users get news and personal updates in a feed. Meanwhile, TikTok’s rapid rise continues to push numerous apps, including Instagram, to copy its features.

Platformer described Artifact as “TikTok for text” and possibly “even a surprise attack on Twitter.”

After launching Instagram together in 2010, Systrom and Krieger sold the app to Meta for $1 billion in 2012. The pair left Instagram in 2018, with reports at the time suggesting the departure was due to tensions with CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the app’s direction and a desire to further incorporate it into Facebook.

“One of the key hallmarks of Instagram has been its independence and uniqueness from Facebook. The founders closely guarded that,” Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer, said to CNN at the time.

Systrom and Krieger have since created a venture focused on social apps of the future, according to Platformer. Artifact is the first product from that venture.

 

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Instagram’s founders are back with a new app