Yahoo digs up defunct news app Artifact

2 Apr 2024

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Artifact ceased being a standalone app a few months ago. Its AI personalisation tech will be incorporated by Yahoo News under the terms of a new deal.

It looks as though Artifact is being dug up again, this time by Yahoo. Artifact’s story began in early 2023 when it was brought to life by Instagram co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.

The duo launched the news-based app in private beta as one of their first business ventures since they sold Instagram off to Facebook, now known as Meta, for $1bn. Artifact specialised in news aggregation using AI to personalise readers’ feeds. Less than a year after its launch, however, it turned to dust.

Systrom and Krieger, who had once struck gold with Instagram, acknowledged that the market competition was too great of a hurdle for the team behind the app to surmount. Artifact was broadly similar to a lot of other news aggregator apps, such as NewsBreak and Flipboard.

The app began slowly shuttering in January before winding down entirely in February. Now, it looks as if its tech will get a new lease of life from tech giant Yahoo, which announced its acquisition today (April 2). The deal closed a couple of days prior.


While Artifact will no longer function as a standalone app, its AI-powered personalisation technology will be integrated across Yahoo, including the Yahoo News app. Systrom and Krieger will collaborate with Yahoo in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth tech transition.

Commenting on the new development, Systrom said that Yahoo “brings the scale” to help Artifact’s tech achieve what he had envisioned when building it. He added that the tech has the opportunity to benefit millions of people.

“AI has allowed us to give users a better experience discovering great content they care about. Yahoo recognises that opportunity, and we could not be more excited to see what we’ve built live on through Yahoo News.”

According to Kat Downs Mulder, SVP and general manager of Yahoo News, Yahoo has long been invested in the “human and algorithmic curation of news”.

“The landscape of machine learning and personalisation has changed dramatically and Artifact has innovated with best-in-class technology to meet the moment,” Downs Mulder added.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.