Artifact is Cool, but It Isn't TikTok for Text

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read
Artifact is Cool, but It Isn't TikTok for Text

Casey Newton: Instagram's Co-Founders Are Mounting a Comeback

The simplest way to understand Artifact is as a kind of TikTok for text, though you might also call it Google Reader reborn as a mobile app, or maybe even a surprise attack on Twitter.

I've heard a bunch of people call Artifact "the TikTok of news," but I truly don't get that comparison at all. I've been using the app for a few days and it's pretty nice, but it feels more like Flipboard or Apple News than TikTok. Yes, it learns from what you read, but like…so do all of these news services.

I also don't get the "Google Reader reborn" label. Google Reader was RSS, which has remained relevant every single day since Google Reader's shut down.

Calling Artifact "TikTok for text" or "Google Reader reborn" feels like filling out a Mad Libs story 😛

I'm mostly posting this because I think the app has potential, but I also think that the way many people are talking about it is giving people the wrong expectation. It's a list of articles based on what you like, and you can tap into them to see that article on the web. Maybe there will be more one day, but don't expect a TikTok style UI or the ability to subscribe to specific sites like you can in an RSS reader.