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Instagram Co-Founders Launch Twitter Alternative

“The company screens websites through a media bias and fact-checking process before approving them.”

Maddy Troy

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Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announce the launch of their self-funded, AI-driven news app called Artifact. The tech duo sold Instagram to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, with Systrom and Krieger continuing to work for Facebook until 2018 when tensions over data privacy and big tech power came to a head with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

Systrom gave an interview to The Financial Times, outlining the way Artifact will work. The basic premise of the app is to leverage the latest advancements in AI to compile a curated interface for news, all of the content on the app will come from a pre-approved list of publications.

The Artifact co-founders are reportedly concerned with the prevalence of misinformation in the current social media space and want to expose users to vetted news sources.

“Artifact will remain a curated collection of approved sources rather than a fully social platform, as the co-founders want to ensure high-quality news and information,” The Financial Times reported. “The company screens websites through a media bias and fact-checking process before approving them. The algorithm will occasionally deliver content that a user may not agree with, however.”

The waiting list for use of the Artifact app opened on Tuesday. The transparency of Artifact’s source selection and fact-checking process remains to be seen.

Artifact’s relationship to Twitter is without question semi-competitive. There is a definite crossover in the news and lifestyle content provided by both platforms. The point of difference is in the style and strategy behind how content is delivered to the user.

Systrom seems to have respect for Elon Musk’s Twitter strategy. “Twitter is one of the most important social media properties in the world, and it deserves to have a leader who believes in it and wants to make it great. And that is all I have seen from Elon.”

Artifact’s entrance into the social marketplace may provide a space for folks who have been outraged by Twitter’s recent “wild west” revival. This shines a light on the bifurcation of curation preferences when it comes to how people consume news. Time will tell how people respond to this approach to news aggregation. 

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Media Business

Warner Bros. Discovery Sees 14% Drop in Ad Revenue in Q4

“This business is not without its challenges.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the Warner Bros. Discovery logo

Warner Bros. Discovery hosted its fourth-quarter earnings call Friday, and while the company reported hundreds of millions in losses, it was trying to view that as a positive.

The company reported a loss of $400 million, which is down sharply from the loss of $2.1 billion it experienced in the same time frame in 2022.

Additionally, Warner Bros. Discovery — the parent company of CNN — saw a 14% decline in advertising revenue during the final three months of 2023.

“This business is not without its challenges,” Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, according to CNBC. “Among them, we continue to face the impacts of ongoing disruption in the pay TV ecosystem and a dislocated, linear advertising ecosystem. We are challenging our leaders to find innovative solutions.”

The comapny did report an 86% increase in free cash flow, which now sits at $6.16 billion.

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Media Business

Jeremy Boreing: Every Outlet ‘Suffering From Facebook’s Massive Shift Away From News’

“Mark Zuckerberg remade the news landscape when he moved his company into the space, and then gutted it when he moved out.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Jeremy Boreing
(Photo: The Daily Wire)

In recent years, Facebook has shifted its focus away from a news and link-sharing platform to become more focused on social interactions between users. That shift has been detrimental to news publishers, according to The Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing.

In a statement to Mediaite, the digital media executive wasn’t shy about his stance that the shift from Facebook has been detrimental not only to his organization but to the industry as a whole.

“Everyone is suffering from Facebook’s massive shift away from news. Mark Zuckerberg remade the news landscape when he moved his company into the space, and then gutted it when he moved out,” Boreing said. “A capricious trillion dollar company can crush entire industries without much effort. Daily Wire is disproportionately impacted because we were built with a focus on Facebook. Now, our focus has shifted to more premium content.”

The comments from Jeremy Boreing coincide with a report that conservative digital outlets have seen a dramatic drop in viewership, especially compared to figures seen in 2020. One outlet — Breitbart — has seen a drop in traffic of 87% compared to the tumultuous 2020 year that included the start and heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a contentious presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

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Media Business

Court Approves Audacy Reorganization Plan

“We have achieved a speedy confirmation of our prepackaged Plan, which will enable Audacy to pursue our strategic goals and opportunities in the dynamic audio business.”

Barrett News Media

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Audacy Logo

A United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas has approved a plan for Audacy to reemerge from its bankruptcy proceedings.

Under the plan, Audacy will equitize more than $1.5 billion of funded debt, which reduces its debt load by 80%, down from $1.9 billion to $350 million.

Audacy Chairman David Field was encouraged by the development.

“Today’s announcement marks a powerful step forward for Audacy, positioning the Company for an exciting future,” said David Field, who also serves as the President and CEO of Audacy. “As expected, we have achieved a speedy confirmation of our prepackaged Plan, which will enable Audacy to pursue our strategic goals and opportunities in the dynamic audio business.

“We aim to drive accelerated growth and financial performance, capitalizing on our scaled, leadership position, our uniquely differentiated premium audio content and the robust capital structure that we will have upon emergence,” continued Field. “I also want to express my gratitude to our team, who continue their outstanding work to serve our listeners and customers with excellence and fulfill our commitments without missing a beat.” 

A statement from the company claims the restructuring “will enable Audacy to continue its strategic digital transformation and capitalize on its position as a scaled, leading multi-platform audio content and entertainment company differentiated by its exclusive, premium audio content.”

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