Yahoo is acquiring AI news app Artifact from Instagram co-founders

Yahoo has made a significant move in the realm of news aggregation and discovery with its acquisition of Artifact, the AI-driven app founded by Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. 

With the acquisition, Artifact will transition from a standalone app to integrate its AI-powered personalization technology into Yahoo’s ecosystem, particularly within the Yahoo News app. The infusion of Artifact’s technology is expected to enhance the user experience and content delivery capabilities across Yahoo’s platforms, leveraging the vast reach and influence of the Yahoo News network, which was ranked as the top news and information property in the US in 2023.

“Yahoo was one of the first to combine human and algorithmic curation of news. Since then, the landscape of machine learning and personalization has changed dramatically and Artifact has innovated with best-in-class technology to meet the moment,” said Kat Downs Mulder, SVP and General Manager of Yahoo News. “Artifact has become a beloved product and we’re thrilled to be able to continue to grow that technology and further our mission of becoming the trusted guide to digital information and the best curator connecting people to the content that matters most to them.”

While the financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, it was clarified that Yahoo is primarily acquiring Artifact’s technology rather than its team. Despite this, Artifact’s co-founders, Krieger and Systrom, will serve as special advisors for Yahoo, although they will not be formally joining the company. As for Artifact’s remaining employees, they have either found alternative employment opportunities or have opted to take a hiatus from work.

“We built an intuitive product experience that users love and has the opportunity to benefit millions of people. Yahoo brings the scale to help the product achieve what we envisioned while upholding the belief that connecting people to the trusted sources of news and information is as critical as ever,” said Kevin Systrom, CEO and Co-Founder of Artifact. “AI has allowed us to give users a better experience discovering great content they care about. Yahoo recognizes that opportunity, and we could not be more excited to see what we’ve built live on through Yahoo News.”

The acquisition announcement follows Artifact’s previous decision to wind down its operations, citing a lack of sufficient market opportunity to justify further investment. Originally conceived as a news aggregation app, Artifact’s evolution eventually positioned it more as a potential competitor to platforms like X. However, the social media landscape is already saturated with numerous players, including Meta’s Threads, making it a highly competitive space. 

Written by Jordan Bevan


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