Yahoo Acquires AI-Powered News Startup Artifact

On Tuesday, Yahoo announced its acquisition of artificial intelligence (AI) news app Artifact, which Instagram co-founders created.

Former Meta executives Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger established Artifact in early 2023 as a stand-alone app and website. They left the social media platform following a clash in visions with CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding Instagram’s direction.

The move marks the American web services provider’s entry into the AI arms race sparked by ChatGPT’s November 2022 release. It comes a little over a year after the startup’s inception and three months after its co-founders shut it down.

Both sides refused to disclose details of the deal but clarified that it involves Artifact’s tech but not its team. Systrom and Krieger will serve as special advisors for the project but will not join Yahoo.

In January, the co-founders wrote that they’ve determined that the market opportunity is insufficient to sustain the firm’s aspirations. As the only investors, the two colleagues planned to shelve the company and explore other opportunities.

However, they said that within an hour after the shutdown notice, more than 10 companies called to discuss potential transactions. They added that all inquirers were interested in integrating Artifact’s AI tech into their existing businesses.

Lastly, Krieger and Systrom stressed that they ultimately chose Yahoo since it has the highest potential to make the most out of their technology.

Artifact AI Tech to Help Modernize Yahoo News

Yahoo News General Manager Kat Downs Mulder said they were impressed by Artifact’s content taxonomy and recommendations systems. She admitted that the duo created the news reader user experience her team has been trying to build for years.

Mulder stated that support for the Artifact app will end once the acquisition is complete, as it will become redundant. She added that its users could look forward to seeing its familiar content categorizing, curating, and personalizing on Yahoo News pages soon.

Systrom expressed excitement at seeing what their tech can do when exposed to Yahoo News’ over 185.00 million monthly users. Moreover, the arrangement solves the biggest hurdle to advancing Artifact, which is the lack of data for machine learning testing.

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