ChatGPT Witnesses First Decline in Traffic Since Launch, Signaling Changing Trends

ChatGPT Witnesses First Decline in Traffic Since Launch, Signaling Changing Trends

ChatGPT Witnesses First Decline in Traffic Since Launch, Signaling Changing Trends


ChatGPT Witnesses First Decline in Traffic Since Launch, Signaling Changing Trends

By Krystal Hu

According to Similarweb (NYSE: SMWB), the analytics firm, ChatGPT, the immensely popular AI chatbot launched in November, experienced a decline in monthly website traffic and unique visitors for the first time in June.

In June, worldwide traffic to the ChatGPT website, both on desktop and mobile, decreased by 9.7% compared to May, while unique visitors dropped by 5.7%. The available data indicates an 8.5% reduction in the time spent by visitors on the website.

David Carr, Senior Insights Manager at Similarweb, interprets the decreasing traffic as an indication of the chatbot's novelty gradually fading away. Rishi Jaluria, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, proposes that this data signifies an increasing desire for generative AI that delivers real-time information.

OpenAI has not yet responded to requests for comment on this matter.

ChatGPT gained immense popularity, attracting over 100 million monthly active users within two months of its launch in January. This AI chatbot has rapidly become the fastest-growing consumer application, accumulating over 1.5 billion monthly visits and ranking among the top 20 websites globally.

In fact, ChatGPT has surpassed Microsoft's search engine, Bing, which incorporates OpenAI's technology.

Several competitors, such as Google's Bard chatbot, have entered the market in recent months. Microsoft's Bing search engine also offers a chatbot powered by OpenAI to users at no cost.

Sarah Hindlian-Bowler, Head of Technology Research Americas at Macquarie, attributes the decline in usage to the challenges associated with the rapid surge from zero to 100 million users. The substantial infrastructure required for such a user base may result in reduced accuracy. Additionally, adjustments to the model's training and compliance with potential regulations could also impact performance.

In May, OpenAI released the ChatGPT app for iOS, which may have contributed to reduced traffic on the website. Some speculate that the decline could also be influenced by the summer break, during which fewer students seek assistance with homework.

As of July 4, the ChatGPT app has garnered more than 17 million global downloads on iOS, as reported by Downloads peaked on May 31 and have maintained popularity, averaging 530,000 downloads per week during its first six full weeks of availability, particularly in the United States.

The recent growth slowdown could help manage the costs associated with running ChatGPT, as the platform demands intensive computing power to handle user queries. Sam Altman, Chief Executive at OpenAI, has described the operational expenses as "eye-watering."

While ChatGPT remains free to use, it also offers a premium subscription allowing users to access OpenAI's advanced GPT-4 model for a monthly fee of $20. Estimates from YipitData suggest that around 1.5 million individuals in the United States have subscribed to the premium offering.

OpenAI has projected revenue of $200 million for this year. In addition to ChatGPT, the company generates income by selling API access to its AI models directly to developers and enterprises, including through its partnership with Microsoft, which has invested over $10 billion in the company.

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