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Yahoo plans to acquire AI-based news app Artifact built by WhatsApp founders



Yahoo acquires Artifact

Yahoo, a longstanding player in the digital news space, is poised for a significant evolution following its acquisition of Artifact, a news recommendation platform founded by Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. The move signifies Yahoo’s ambition to infuse its vast readership base with cutting-edge technology for personalized news delivery.

While the financial terms of the acquisition remain undisclosed, both parties have emphasized Yahoo’s acquisition of Artifact’s technology rather than its team. Krieger and Systrom will serve as “special advisors” for Yahoo, with Artifact’s remaining employees either transitioning to new roles or taking a break.

The acquisition comes on the heels of Artifact’s closure announcement, where Krieger and Systrom cited the pursuit of broader opportunities as the rationale behind shuttering the platform. Despite acknowledging a dedicated user base, the co-founders opted to focus on ventures with greater scalability and impact.

However, the decision sparked interest from potential suitors, with Yahoo emerging as a prime contender. Kat Downs Mulder, the general manager for Yahoo News, lauded Artifact’s expertise in content taxonomy and recommendation systems, underscoring the synergy between Artifact’s technology and Yahoo’s extensive reader base, which attracts over 185 million visitors monthly.

For Yahoo, the acquisition represents an opportunity to enhance its personalization and recommendation capabilities, providing users with tailored news experiences. Integrating Artifact’s technology into Yahoo’s platforms is expected to unfold gradually, promising a seamless transition for users and unlocking the potential for enhanced content discovery.

While Artifact’s standalone app will be discontinued post-acquisition, its underlying technology will be integrated into Yahoo News and potentially other Yahoo platforms. Downs Mulder hinted at the possibility of incorporating Artifact’s speed and polish into Yahoo’s apps over time, further enhancing user experience.

Both Systrom and Downs Mulder stress the importance of a deliberate integration process, recognizing that implementing Artifact’s algorithms into Yahoo News requires careful calibration. Nevertheless, they are optimistic about the prospects of accelerating innovation and delivering a personalized content ecosystem to users.

As for Systrom, his focus remains on ensuring a smooth transition to Yahoo while contemplating future endeavors. While the acquisition marks the end of Artifact’s journey, Systrom remains bullish on the potential of AI and continues to explore opportunities in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

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