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Published on April 03, 2024
Yahoo Snaps Up AI News App Artifact to Personalize Content, Founders Join Advisory RoleSource: Beatrice Murch from South America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Yahoo has confirmed the acquisition of Artifact, a cutting-edge AI news aggregator, marking another page turned in the tech industry's relentless march towards algorithmic content curation. The move, announced on April 2, is set to shutter Artifact as a standalone application while embedding its personalization technology within Yahoo's wider news network. Yahoo Inc. has stated that the integration is an effort to enhance the user experience across its platforms by delivering more relevant news stories to end-users.

Artifact, founded by Instagram alums Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, boasted an AI mechanism that became more keenly attuned to a reader's preferences over time. Having achieved the #1 news and information property in the U.S. in 2023, Yahoo sees the acquisition poised to boost its mission of becoming a trusted digital guide. Despite the app's popularity, the Artifact team announced their decision to discontinue the standalone application, with a service extension stretching unexpectedly to April 2nd—to the benefit of the app's dedicated user base. The Artifact team reflected on this new strategic direction on their website, expressing their eagerness to see how their AI innovation will thrive under Yahoo's umbrella.

Amid this corporate handover, Kat Downs Mulder, SVP and General Manager of Yahoo News, praised Artifact for its trailblazing work in personalized content delivery. She said, “Yahoo was one of the first to combine human and algorithmic curation of news. Since then, the landscape of machine learning and personalization has changed dramatically and Artifact has innovated with best-in-class technology to meet the moment.”

Looking ahead, Artifact's illustrious co-founders won't be cutting ties immediately with their brainchild. As shared on April 2, both Systrom and Krieger will stay on in an advisory role to facilitate a smooth transition, with Mike Krieger touted by Artifact's website as the platform's tech maestro behind their claim of it being an "intuitive product experience that users love.” Their continued presence is expected to maintain the platform’s ethos, even as its capabilities are woven into the fabric of Yahoo’s existing services.

The specifics of the deal were not disclosed, but Yahoo's acquisition, settled on March 29, reflects a growing trend where major corporations assimilate pioneering tech upstarts to bolster their product offerings. Yahoo's eager incorporation of Artifact's features—including robust curation tools, anti-clickbait measures, and shared links—promises to substantially enhance the personalized nature of its news consumption experience, proving once more that the future of news is ever more tailored to the individual reader.