Artifact, , is no longer queued. The app is available in most English speaking markets on the Apple App Store and on Android. Starting today, you no longer need a phone number to use Artifact unless you want to create an account and switch to a different device.
In addition, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s team added other features, including a social element. There is now an option to upload your contacts to see if a particular item has resonated with your friends. A badge next to an item popular enough with your contacts.
said Systrom that you can’t see which of your specific friends have read a story or how many. There’s a threshold before the badge is shown, so you can’t just upload a single contact and use the feature to track what they’re reading. These are apparently privacy considerations, but they overlook the fact that you need to upload your contacts’ details in order to use them.
In another era, Artifact may have tapped into Twitter to see what the people you follow are reading (similar to ). But with Elon Musk, that may no longer be feasible.
Eventually, Artifact will have a way for users to share and comment on articles in the app. The beta already has a Discover feed of things shared by others. Of course, users can like and comment on these shared articles.
The app now has a stats feature that visualizes the categories you’ve read the most, as well as the publishers you’ve read the most. Artifact also groups articles into more narrowly defined topics. In the meantime, if you don’t like an article or publisher, you can now indicate it and the app will show you fewer of them. It is also possible to block publishers.
I’ve been using Artifact for a few weeks and am enjoying it so far. Not surprisingly, the more I use it and tell it what I don’t want to see, the more tailored the suggestions are to my liking. It reminds me a bit of Facebooks, my favorite thing Meta has built so far. Artifact doesn’t have anything like Facebook’s Social Graph, but given the fact that the guys at Instagram are behind it, it’s hard to bet against the success of their new app.
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