Instagram creators’ news app Artifact bids farewell – here’s the real reason behind its closure

Artifact, the innovative news app developed by Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, is bidding farewell to its users. Launched in February of the previous year, the AI-powered artifact aimed to revolutionize news consumption through artificial intelligence. Despite its unique features and efforts to improve the product, the app is set to shut down. In this article, we’ll delve into the real reason behind its closure and the impact it has left on the news-reading landscape.

Innovative Features and Impact

Artifact quickly gained attention for its innovative features, including AI-powered article summaries, interactive commenting within the app, and tools to identify clickbait articles. The app aimed to personalize the news-reading experience for its users through machine learning, creating a modern version of Google Reader. It allowed users to share links and rate posts, engaging them in a more interactive news consumption experience.

Market Opportunity and Closure

Kevin Systrom explained that despite continuous efforts to enhance the app, the market opportunity for Artifact did not justify further investment. This led to the decision to shut down the app, discontinuing new posts and comments from January 12th. The core news reading capability is set to continue until the end of February, marking the end of Artifact’s brief but impactful journey.

Challenges in the News Landscape

The closure of Artifact sheds light on the challenges faced by news publications, especially in a landscape where local news and larger publishers struggle with financial difficulties and complex relationships with major technology firms. The app’s closure serves as a reflection of the difficulties in sustaining and evolving innovative news platforms in a competitive and dynamic industry.
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Meta Platforms' Modifications

Meanwhile, Meta Platforms, the parent company of Instagram, announced its intentions to implement automatic restrictions on teenage Instagram and Facebook accounts to protect young users from harmful content. These modifications aim to create a more age-appropriate environment for younger users, aligning with the company’s ongoing efforts to address concerns about the impact of social media on youth.

Legal Actions and Tech Industry Impact

The introduction of new content restrictions coincides with legal actions against Meta Platforms, with over 40 states suing the tech giant. These lawsuits allege that the company deceived the public regarding the risks its platforms present to young individuals, highlighting the broader impact of tech industry practices on societal and legal landscapes.


The closure of Artifact signifies the challenges and complexities within the news and tech industry. Despite its innovative approach, the app faced insurmountable market dynamics, leading to its discontinuation. As the tech industry continues to navigate regulatory and ethical considerations, the impact of platforms on users, particularly the younger demographic, remains a focal point for companies and policymakers. The legacy of Artifact serves as a reminder of the evolving nature of news consumption and the intricate intersection of technology, media, and user welfare in the digital age.


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