Whether you love it or detest it, TikTok is addictive. The quality of the videos isn’t necessarily what makes them so addictive (although there are plenty of great ones). Instead, it’s the remarkable algorithm that swiftly ascertains your preferences and continuously feeds you relevant content. And while many people now obtain their news via TikTok and other connected applications, there is a new service called Artifact that aims to capitalize on TikTok’s appeal but with text-based content.
Additionally, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of Instagram, have launched a new project called Artifact. Consider it like TikTok for news: The Verge claims that when you initially launch the app, a stream of articles from well-known publications like the New York Times all the way down to little blogs specializing in particular topics greets you.
Furthermore, when you tap an article that piques your attention, the Artifact algorithm learns that the user is eager in reading about that topic and gives you more content related to it. And after reading a few items, your Artifact feed should presumably contain fewer topics that you skip over and more headlines that you’ll click.
So, this is what you may anticipate if your name is removed from the queue and you are invited to sign up for the service. However, there are additional features that are now in beta and may eventually be released. One is a feature that functions like Twitter and displays a feed of stories submitted by users you follow on the app. Additionally, Artifact is exploring messaging, allowing you to DM articles to friends for reading and discussion.
Systrom and Krieger undoubtedly want to make a news app that is equally addictive as TikTok. However, there is a dubious precedent in place here, as The Verge notes, as tailored news applications have come and gone in the past. But algorithms are addicting, so it will be fascinating to see how interested the audience is.
Moreover, the amount of time you spend reading a given article will be more important to Artifact than whatever articles get the most hits and conversation. Hence, that should keep the algorithm from pulling a Facebook and favoring stuff that elicits strong emotional reactions over thoughtful content.
Here’s how to register with Artifact
Visit the Artifact website if you’re interested in giving it a try. Click “Join the Waitlist” after entering your phone number (which must be based in the United States). When your invitation is prepared, Artifact will contact you again to let you know. Lastly, the founders of Artifact claim that the service will quickly sign up new users, so anticipate receiving an invite text very soon.