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TikTok for text: Yahoo acquires Artifact, AI news startup from Instagram co-founders

Picture Credits: rafapress/DepositPhotos

In a recent move, Yahoo announced the acquisition of San Francisco-based Artifact, an AI news app developed by Instagram’s co-founders. This acquisition marks a strategic alliance between two entities with distinct strengths and challenges. 

Artifact struggled despite having a set of powerful tools for news recommendation. On the other hand, Yahoo with hundreds of millions of readers seeks to integrate a tech feature to distinguish itself from other dominant news aggregators. Currently, the acquisition amount remains undisclosed. 

What changes post the acquisition?

As a result of this acquisition, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of Artifact, will take the roles of CEO and CTO respectively. They will continue to work for Yahoo in an advisory capacity, ensuring a seamless integration of their technology. However, they will not join the company. 

Notably, Artifact will no longer operate as a standalone app but the proprietary AI-powered personalisation technology and other features will be integrated across Yahoo, including the Yahoo News app in the coming months. The technology is said to be more impactful with the Yahoo News network. 

Artifact’s AI-powered discovery engine

Artifact’s AI-powered discovery engine surfaces content users most want to see and becomes tuned to their interests over time. The result is a personalised feed of news stories that helps users discover stories they want to read. It can be said as a TikTok for text.

In addition to curation, Artifact brings a host of features aimed at improving the quality of the experience, from easy access to top news, link-sharing capabilities, tools to prevent clickbait proliferation, and more. Bringing these capabilities into the Yahoo portfolio accelerates the opportunity to connect users with even richer content experiences and tailored personalisation.

“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.”

“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.”

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