There is now a technique to determine whether an article is popular among your friends.
The queue for Artifact, the personalised news curation app created by the co-founders of Instagram, has been removed. The application is available in the Apple App Store and on Android in the majority of English-speaking markets. You no longer need a phone number to use Artifact as of today, unless you want to register an account and switch devices.

The team of Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger has introduced more features, including a social component. You can now upload your contacts to determine if a particular item has acquired momentum among your friends. A badge will appear next to articles that are sufficiently popular among your connections.

According to Systrom, you cannot see who of your friends have read an article or how many have done so. In addition, there is a threshold before the badge displays, so you cannot upload a single contact and use this tool to follow what they’re reading. These appear to be privacy concerns, but they disregard the fact that you must upload your contacts’ information in order to use it.

In the past, Artifact may have utilised Twitter to determine what your followers are reading (akin to the Top Articles feature for Blue subscribers). But, with Elon Musk’s restrictions on Twitter’s APIs, this may no longer be feasible.

Users will eventually be able to share and comment on articles within the Artifact app. The beta version already has an Explore stream of shared content. Users can naturally like and comment on shared articles.

The app now has a statistics tool that displays the most frequently read categories and publishers. Moreover, Artifact groups articles into more narrowly specified subject categories. In the meanwhile, you may now specify when you dislike a particular item or source, and the app will display them less frequently. It is also feasible to block publishers.

I’ve been using Artifact for a few weeks and so far, I’m like it. Naturally, the more I use it and tell it what I don’t want to see, the more the suggestions are tailored to my preferences. That reminds me of Facebook’s old Paper application, which is my favourite thing that Meta has created to date. Artifact lacks Facebook’s social graph, but given that Instagram’s creators are behind it, it’s difficult to predict the success of their new app.

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