ChatGPT sees its first monthly drop in traffic since launch

Have we passed peak ChatGPT?
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
A laptop keyboard and ChatGPT on AppStore displayed on a phone screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on June 8, 2023. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images

OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November 2022 and immediately experienced revolutionary growth that triggered a worldwide chain of innovation in artificial intelligence. The AI chatbot set a record for the fastest-growing user base, reaching 100 million active users by January, just two months after launch. 

Also: 7 advanced ChatGPT prompt-writing tips you need to know

Growth remained steady since then, with a user base that reached almost 200 million active users by May of 2023. But the popular ChatGPT saw its first decline in monthly traffic and unique visitors in June, as explained by a report from Similarweb.

ChatGPT and Comparisons, Worldwide

The monthly visits from desktop and mobile web worldwide, combined.

Similarweb Blog/ZDNET

According to the analytics firm's report, worldwide desktop and mobile web traffic dropped by 9.7% from May to June, and 10.3% in the US alone. Users are also spending less time on the site overall, as the amount of time visitors spent on chat.openai.com was down 8.5%, according to the reports.

The decline, according to David F. Carr, senior insights manager at Similarweb, is an indication of a drop in interest in ChatGPT and that the novelty of AI chat has worn off. "Chatbots will have to prove their worth, rather than taking it for granted, from here on out," Carr wrote in the report. 

Also: Ahead of AI, this other technology wave is sweeping in fast

As ChatGPT's popularity exploded, so did speculation that AI chatbots and generative AI tools like ChatGPT could one day replace search engines. But Google gets around 84 billion monthly visitors compared to ChatGPT's current 1.8 billion which was last reported in April. For reference, Bing, which only holds about 3% of the search engine market share compared to Google's 93%, has over 1.1 billion recorded users. 

Also: The best AI chatbots

OpenAI added the ChatGPT Plus subscription to its business model after Sam Altman described the free ChatGPT platform as rendering "eye-watering" compute costs, and other companies have used the company's technology to their benefit.

Microsoft partnered with OpenAI to integrate GPT-4 into Bing Chat and use it to create a smarter, AI-powered search engine in a chatbot format. Traffic to the OpenAI developer site was up 3.1% from May to June, according to the same analytics report from Similarweb.

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