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Yahoo to buy Artifact, incorporate recommendation tech into Yahoo News

Artifact is going away, but the tech will live on in Yahoo News and eventually other products

Artifact, the AI-powered news app from Instagram’s co-founders, will get a second chance at life thanks to Yahoo.

As reported by The Verge, Yahoo will acquire Artifact and incorporate the app’s tech into Yahoo News. Artifact and Yahoo declined to share the cost of the acquisition but clarified that the acquisition is for Artifact’s technology, not the team behind it.

Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, Artifact’s co-founders, will stick around as special advisors for Yahoo but won’t join the company. The remaining five employees either have other jobs or are taking time off.

Notably, Krieger and Systrom recently announced that Artifact would shut down. Although the app had some cool ideas, the duo admitted there wasn’t a big enough market to “warrant continued investment.” But Yahoo happens to have what Artifact didn’t: eyeballs.

Yahoo News’ general manager, Kat Downs Mulder, told The Verge that over 180 million people visit Yahoo News every month. That’s more than Artifcat likely would have gotten on its own.

Once the acquisition closes, the Artifact app will go away. But the underlying tech, like the personalized curation and categorization of content, will slowly move to Yahoo News (and eventually, other Yahoo platforms). Yahoo News might also get some of the speed and polish that made Artifact a pleasure to use.

The process will take time, with Downs Mulder telling The Verge that they can’t just drop the Artifact algorithm into Yahoo News and call it a day. Still, it’s only a matter of time before Yahoo News gets powered up with Artifact’s tech, which could eventually help realize the Artifact co-founder’s pitch of offering a “TikTok for text.”

It’s not clear what’s next for Systrom and Krieger, but Systrom told The Verge they’re thinking about new ideas and they’re still bullish on AI.

Image credit: Yahoo

Source: The Verge

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