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Instagram Founders Want to Get You Addicted to Their New 'TikTok Texting' App

By Jena Greene,


If you're tired of Twitter and never really learned TikTok, this new app could be for you.

Are you tired of social media and looking to have a cleanse from all the noise in the new year?

That's too darn bad, because the co-founders of Instagram are gearing up to release a new platform for information, connection, and of course entertainment (which some party poopers may call time wasting).

You may recall that Instagram's founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, left Facebook in 2018 -- before it rebranded to Meta ( META ) - Get Free Report . The two had disagreements with Facebook over how Instagram would be run after it was purchased in 2012 for $1 billion.

Systrom, the CEO and Krieger, the CTO, have stayed relatively private since the departure. That is, until now.

A New Platform Is Coming

The proposed platform is called Artifact, and just opened up its user waitlist on Tuesday. It claims it will use artificial intelligence to hone a user's interests and promote personalized articles that you can comment on and share with others.

"The simplest way to understand Artifact is as a kind of TikTok for text, though you might also call it Google Reader reborn as a mobile app or maybe even a surprise attack on Twitter," The Verge explains. "The app opens to a feed of popular articles chosen from a curated list of publishers ranging from leading news organizations like The New York Times to small-scale blogs about niche topics. Tap on articles that interest you, and Artifact will serve you similar posts and stories in the future, just as watching videos on TikTok’s For You page tunes its algorithm over time."

Current Artifact beta users are testing a litany of new features, including a personalized feed of articles written by folks you follow plus commenting and messaging options.

Information-Sharing Apps Have Been Tried Before, With Mixed Results

Other information-sharing apps have been tested in the past. You may recall Clubhouse, the app that enabled folks to enter into topical conversations with strangers in "rooms," was touted by everyone from Mark and Randi Zuckerberg to Elon Musk and MC Hammer. Its user base is since down 70% from highs reached in 2021.

Twitter Spaces, a similar model whereby Twitter users can host live chats with anyone who chooses to follow along, was removed shortly before Elon Musk bought the app and brought it back.

It's hard to tell whether Artifact will have the viral popularity that behemoths in the social media space enjoy, but it does have one feature that the most popular app on the planet uses: artificial intelligence.

AI enables powerful platforms like TikTok to pull viewers in by learning, refining, and targeting their interests, which in turn creates habitual users who'll spend more time on the platform. TikTok's algorithm is proprietary, and has caused a stir in its own right , but if there's one thing people seek out on social media, it's being heard and understood. Perhaps Artifact might just satisfy that desire.

You can join the Artifact waitlist, available to Android and iOS users, here .

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