Less than a year after its release, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of Instagram, are closing down Artifact news app. The News app was closed because, despite having a devoted user base, it was unable to gain traction.
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Market Opportunity Not Big Enough
“We have built something that a core group of users love, but we have concluded that the market opportunity isn’t big enough to warrant continued investment in this way,” said CEO Kevin Systrom in a Medium article. The choice is made when the app begins to wind down and users can no longer contribute new articles or comments.
Evolution of Artifact Features
Artifact debuted in January of last year and has since added several features, such as tools to identify stories as clickbait, comments on articles within the app, and article summaries driven by AI. The software went beyond news, enabling users to share material and submit links in a manner akin to that of Twitter. But features like posts and comments needed a lot of moderation, which presented a problem for Artifact’s tiny workforce.
Team Disbands, Excitement for New Opportunities
The eight-person team behind Artifact is going to split apart, with Systrom saying he’s excited to try new things. He sees countless prospects in the field of artificial intelligence despite the shutdown.
Artifact’s Brief Impact
Using machine learning to customize the news-reading experience, Artifact aimed to transform the way people consume news using artificial intelligence. Even though the Google Play Store recognized the app as necessary, it had trouble standing out in a crowded market. Before Artifact permanently shuts down, users will have until the end of February to take advantage of its primary news-reading functionality.
Challenges in the News App Landscape
The Twitter competitor scene is becoming more competitive, which is why Artifact news app is closing. In 2023, news aggregators such as SmartNews also encountered challenges, including staff reductions and changes in leadership. The news publishing situation is difficult, with larger publishers juggling intricate connections with huge technological corporations and local journalism disappearing.
Slimming Down Operations
Over the next weeks, Artifact will progressively remove functionality to make the shutdown easier. The goal of removing the option to add new articles and comments is to lessen the need for moderation. While previously posted content will be momentarily viewable, users are advised to look for other services when the app comes to an end.
A Glimpse into the Future
While highlighting the necessity for companies to make difficult decisions early on for the good of all parties concerned, Systrom made hints about prospective future endeavors. Time spent creating newer, larger, and better things that may potentially reach millions of people is, in his opinion, the largest opportunity cost. Systrom is upbeat about the fascinating prospects in the developing field of artificial intelligence despite Artifact’s demise.
In the end, the brief but significant journey of Artifact News App illustrates the difficulties of carving out a place for oneself in the crowded market for social media and news platforms. Less than a year after its release, the app was shut down due to its inability to establish a clear identity and gain a substantial market share, despite its revolutionary features.
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