Is ChatGPT-mania over already? All the reasons for the drop in monthly users

Elizabeth Smith

Who has not had the curiosity to query ChatGPT at least once since its launch? Seemingly few since, before being ousted by Threads, it had been called the most trafficked site in the world. Now, however, the analysis company Similarweb reports that in June the chatbot recorded a drop in visits for the first time since its launch in November.

In particular, worldwide traffic from desktop and mobile to the ChatGpt site decreased by 9.7 per cent in June compared to May. While unique visitors dropped by 5.7 per cent. Time spent by visitors on the site also decreased by 8.5%.

On the other hand, traffic to the developer url was up 3.1% in June compared to the previous month.

All ChatGPT records

Starting in November, the ChatGpt site began to be frequented by insiders and nerds. But also the merely curious as well as students looking for someone to do their homework for them. Generative artificial intelligence entered people’s everyday lives, so much so that it reached 100 million monthly active users in January – only two months after its launch.

At the end of May, Visual Capitalist wrote that “the site’s traffic has increased over the year, from about 20 million a month in the autumn of last year to 1.8 billion in April 2023”.

Before the arrival of Instagram Threads – Twitter’s competitor that reached 100 million users in five days – it was the fastest-growing consumer app ever.

Today it boasts over 1.5 billion monthly visits. Which still places it among the top 20 sites in the world.

Users on holiday

Now that schools have closed for the summer break in both the US and Europe, notes the Washington Post, there is speculation that the drop in visits may be attributable to a lack of students relying on them to do homework, revise or prepare a term paper.

In fact, Fortune states that these requests are second only to those for writing a CV or cover letter.

But what if it was the limits of ChatGPT?

According to some analysts quoted by WP, one cannot overlook ChatGpt’s limitations and the decline in the quality of its answers. Which could be due to a reduction in the costs of managing the chatbot that consumes ‘an enormous amount of expensive processing power’.

Sam Altman, ChatGpt’s father, himself called the costs of running the services ‘mind-boggling’. An external estimates reported by Similarweb put them at around $700,000 per day. OpenAI has forecast revenues of $200 million for this year.

The chatbot is currently free. But it also provides a premium subscription. Where users can pay $20 per month to access Gpt-4, OpenAI’s most advanced model. So far, according to YipitData’s latest estimates, it has been subscribed to by about 1.5 million people in the US.

Is regulation involved?

Finally, others speculate that concerns over the looming regulation of artificial intelligence has led OpenAI and other AI companies to reduce the capabilities of their chatbots. So as not to incur the fears of politicians. Who are worried that bots will be used to spread misinformation, instil bias in other technology products, and affect the jobs of real people.

However, for Sarah Hindlian-Bowler, an analyst at investment bank Macquarie, it is “a combination of the need to change model training and the need to manage the potential implications of regulation”.

Because “if we continue to see an increase in output along the lines of ‘I can’t answer this question because I’m a chatbot, we will become increasingly concerned that regulation is taking power away from ChatGpt”.

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