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ChatGPT Just Showed The First Decline In Traffic Since Its Launch

ChatGPT, the immensely popular AI chatbot that took the world by storm when it launched in November, has experienced a decline in traffic for the first time since its inception. According to analytics firm Similarweb, the website witnessed a decrease of 9.7% in worldwide desktop and mobile traffic in June compared to May. Additionally, unique visitors to the site dropped by 5.7%, and the average time spent by visitors decreased by 8.5%.

Similarweb’s Senior Insights Manager, David Carr, suggests that the decline in traffic may be indicative of the novelty of the chatbot wearing off. On the other hand, RBC Capital Markets analyst Rishi Jaluria believes that the data points towards a growing demand for generative AI that provides real-time information. OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has not yet commented on the decline in traffic. However, it is worth noting that ChatGPT achieved remarkable success shortly after its launch, reaching 100 million monthly active users in just two months and garnering over 1.5 billion monthly visits. It quickly became one of the top 20 websites globally, surpassing Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, which utilizes OpenAI’s technology.

In recent months, several competitors, including Google’s Bard chatbot, have entered the market. Additionally, OpenAI released the ChatGPT app on iOS in May, which could have diverted some traffic away from the website. The decrease in usage may also be attributed to the summer break for schools, as fewer students seek assistance with homework during this period.

Despite the decline in traffic, ChatGPT remains popular. It has been downloaded more than 17 million times on iOS globally, with an average of 530,000 weekly downloads in the United States during its first six weeks of availability.

The slowdown in growth could potentially help control the high costs associated with running ChatGPT, as the chatbot requires substantial computing power to handle user queries. OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, has described the operational expenses as “eye-watering.”

To generate revenue, OpenAI offers a premium subscription for $20 per month, granting users access to the more advanced GPT-4 model. Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States have signed up for this subscription, according to estimates from YipitData. OpenAI also generates income by selling API access to its AI models to developers and enterprises, including through its partnership with Microsoft, which made a significant investment of over $10 billion in the company.

Although the decline in traffic suggests a potential shift in user preferences, it remains to be seen how ChatGPT will adapt and continue to thrive in the competitive landscape of AI chatbots.

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