ChatGPT, the AI chatbot launched in November, experienced a decline in monthly traffic and unique visitors to its website in June, according to analytics firm Similarweb. The worldwide desktop and mobile traffic to the ChatGPT website decreased by 9.7% in June compared to May, while unique visitors dropped by 5.7%. Additionally, the amount of time spent on the website decreased by 8.5%. These figures indicate the first-ever decline in popularity for ChatGPT since its launch.
ChatGPT gained immense popularity for its use in various daily tasks, such as writing and coding, and reached 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after its launch. It quickly became the fastest-growing consumer application ever and currently boasts over 1.5 billion monthly visits, positioning itself as one of the top 20 websites globally. Notably, ChatGPT has surpassed Bing, Microsoft’s search engine that utilizes OpenAI’s technology.
In recent months, several competitors to ChatGPT have emerged, including Google’s Bard chatbot. Even Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, offers a chatbot powered by OpenAI to users for free. Sarah Hindlian-Bowler, an expert at Macquarie, suggests that the decline in ChatGPT’s popularity may be attributed to the challenges faced when transitioning from zero to 100 million users. She explains that such rapid growth necessitates changes in the model’s training and requires addressing potential regulatory implications.
Another factor potentially contributing to the decline in usage is the release of the ChatGPT app on the iOS system in May, which may have diverted some traffic from the website. Additionally, some speculate that the decrease in usage could be linked to the summer break for schools, as fewer students seek assistance with homework during this period.
While the recent slowdown in growth may appear concerning, it could have a positive impact on the cost of running ChatGPT. The chatbot requires significant computing power to answer user queries, and OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, has described the operational costs as “eye-watering.” The decline in usage could alleviate some of these expenses.
ChatGPT is currently available for free, but it also offers a premium subscription that grants users access to OpenAI’s more advanced model, GPT-4. Approximately 1.5 million people have signed up for this subscription service, indicating a strong interest in accessing enhanced features and capabilities.
Overall, while ChatGPT experienced a decline in traffic and unique visitors in June, it remains a significant player in the AI chatbot market. The challenges associated with rapid growth and the emergence of competitors are factors that OpenAI will need to address to maintain and expand ChatGPT’s user base.