Yahoo acquires Instagram co-founders' AI news platform Artifact


FILE PHOTO: A Yahoo logo is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France, June 19, 2023. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

(Reuters) - Yahoo said on Tuesday it had acquired Instagram co-founders' AI-driven news platform, Artifact, and will incorporate its technology across the U.S. web services provider's news and other sites.

The deal signals continued pain for media start-ups struggling to grow revenue at a time when Big Tech giants Alphabet and Meta Platforms attract the bulk of advertising sales.

In January, Artifact said in a blogpost it would wind down operations of its app as "the market opportunity isn't big enough to warrant continued investment in this way."

Yahoo, which also owns news brands TechCrunch, Engadget and Yahoo Finance, said Artifact's AI-powered recommendation engine and other features will help scale its news operations and deliver personalized content to audience.

The online publisher also owns a minority stake in content recommendation platform Taboola.

Yahoo, which declined to share financial details, was bought out by private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $5 billion in 2021.

Artifact was launched in early 2023 by Systrom and Mike Krieger. They were earlier at Meta, then known as Facebook, after the company's acquisition of Instagram in 2012.

The duo had left the Facebook owner in late 2018, which some media reports later described as due to their strained relationship with Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg and differences in their visions for Instagram.

Systrom and Krieger will work with Yahoo in an advisory capacity during this transition, Yahoo said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh and Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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