Artifact, the AI-powered news app from Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, has a new feature that makes it even more of a news-focused social media app. With the latest version of the Artifact app, you can now follow individual writers. Articles from those writers will get priority in your feed, and you can choose to receive notifications when those writers post.
Writers can also claim their profiles on Artifact to get a checkmark next to their name in Artifact search and comments. (Writers can only claim profiles on iOS, but it’s coming to Android soon, Systrom says. the edge.) Yes, Artifact allows users to comment in individual articles, meaning those comments live outside of stories that may already have their own comment sections. Writers can also receive notifications about how many people read their articles on Artifact and when other publications link to their work.
It seems that Artifact sees an opportunity to create a space for news and light social networking given the many recent changes to Twitter. A lot of people already use platforms like Twitter just to talk about the news, but Twitter isn’t really fun right now, so Artifact seems to be positioning itself as a better place for news hunters to hang out and talk to each other about the latest happenings. When it launched earlier this year, Casey Newton called Artifact “sort of a TikTok for text,” and I think that’s still accurate.
Artifact could stand out by keeping its focus only on the news; As a journalist, I can see the appeal of using the app to find new stories and talk to readers. But after a while, that will feel like work; I’m not sure I want to spend a lot of time there when there’s internet chaos elsewhere.