Instagram’s Founders Create New App Called Artifact

smart phone with apps on it man holding phone

The co-founders of Instagram have announced they will be launching a brand new app called Artifact. This distinctive app has no set release date but promises a personalized news feed. A promise we’ve heard before, but this time it will be powered by artificial intelligence. The Instagram founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, let the world know today, Tuesday, January 31, that Artifact has opened virtual doors to the public by inviting us to join a waiting list

How to Sign Up

artifact signup webpage
Photo Credit: Screenshot from

All you have to do to join the Artifact app waiting list is to head on over to and enter your mobile number. We tested it for you and here’s what we found:

  • No confirmation text will come through to your phone. Rather, the website gives you an update reading, “Thanks! You’ve been added to the waitlist. We’re adding people as fast as we can, and we’ll text you when your invite is ready.” 
  • If you have any questions you can attempt to reach out via the email provided on their site: 

In the meantime, we wait!

What is Artifact?

Photo Credit: Artifact screenshot provided by The Verge

In short, according to engadget, Artifact is, “an AI-driven news aggregation app from the creators of Instagram.” The Artifact app will be a striking contrast from the photo-focused Instagram app. Oppositely, Artifact will be article-focused. You can expect your newsfeed to display news articles relevant to you and popular blogs focused around your interests. Yahoo! Is calling it, “the TikTok of News” – an unofficially coined term we can get behind. 

How it Will Affect Social Media Consumption

rose gold phone on top of a notebook next to a pair of reading glasses and mac laptop
Photo courtesy of Envato

Social media as a whole has faced quite a bit of scrutiny. Mental health professionals have long-warned us about the negative side effects of over-consumption of social media. These forewarnings may be largely owed to the content being consumed, even on Instagram in particular. The Instagram app has faced criticisms of being a powerhouse hub of photos riddled with unrealistic body standards as well as unobtainable and inauthentic lifestyle depictions. 

If Artifact delivers on its promises, it could be one positive step in the right direction for social media consumption. Instead of exercising our eyes by ingesting hours of short-form videos and inordinately edited photos, Artifact users would instead be spending their time reading on their mobile devices. It’s a change that could impact social media drastically. The announcement gives off the glimmer of hope that this social media app, Artifact, just might force us to exercise an integral part of oneself that most apps don’t consider – our minds. Although it’s technically an organ, our brains need exercise just like a muscle. Will Artifact be our treadmill app equivalent for our minds? Only time will tell. But we are cautiously optimistic that the launch of the app may be a forceful step in the right direction for social media consumption. 

The Social Aspect of Artifact

you've got mail inbox paper craft
Photo courtesy of Envato

If Artifact is news and article-focused, you might wonder how or where the “social” aspect comes into play. After all, it’s meant to be a social media app. While most answers are still vague, one thing we do know is that Systrom and Krieger have plans to allow all Artifact users to follow one another. If someone you follow publishes an article, you will be alerted. In addition, a direct-message inbox is in the works. Artifact users will be able to privately message one another and discuss content within the app. 

The Men Behind the App

Photo of Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger by The New York Times
Photo Credit: The New York Times

Artifact isn’t their first rodeo. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are co-creators of the Instagram app. It should be noted that they both exited Instagram simultaneously in 2018. Not the app itself (that we know of), but the company as a whole due to “tensions with their parent company,” according to The Verge. As you might remember, Facebook, now known as Meta, purchased Instagram in 2012 for a record-setting $1 billion. When asked in 2018 at WIRED25 Summit why the sudden step-down from Instagram, Systrom reportedly replied, “no one ever leaves a job because everything is awesome.” According to CNBC, Systrom also exclaimed he has zero regret about leaving Instagram and wants to see it succeed. 

All Eyes on Artifact

Although the release and future of the Artifact app are unknown, one thing is for certain – they have our attention. Given the stippling success of Instagram with its reported 1.28 billion users in 2022, the expectations and anticipation are sky-high for the release of their new app. Can lightning strike twice? The success of the Artifact app will be the defying answer. Subscribe to our blog for more updates on Artifact and other noteworthy content.  

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