The rapid ascent of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in web traffic hit a stumbling block last month. After setting the tech world on fire, ChatGPT’s traffic finally dipped for the first time, revealing the inevitable plateau after a meteoric rise for the artificial intelligence.
According to a report shared by SimilarWeb, Global traffic to OpenAI website experienced a 10% drop, with unique visitors seeing a decrease of 6%. These figures indicate that the once-thought disruption to Google’s reign is unlikely to materialize soon.
The number of visitors from the United States, which notably didn’t see the same traffic boom as worldwide statistics, also saw a slump in June.
ChatGPT still ranks higher than key competitors in attracting worldwide visitors, namely Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Character.AI, a standalone AI chatbot site. Character.AI, despite a 32% month-over-month fall in visits, maintains significantly elevated traffic compared to June 2022.
OpenAI’s management team may not be overly concerned with this dip. Initially launched as a tech demonstration that subsequently morphed into a digital sensation, SimilarWeb notes that ChatGPT primarily generates sales leads for OpenAI. This allows other companies to license its technology for their applications.
During this period, OpenAI’s CEO has been actively advocating for more favorable regulations. Notably, the company decided to stop using Microsoft’s Bing search services, due to its proclivity for skipping Paywalls—a month after its implementation.
This move came as a surprise, given that Microsoft, a major OpenAI investor, incorporated OpenAI’s GPT-4 LLM to power its native search engine, Bing.
Running the largely free service isn’t cheap, with costs an estimated $700,000 per day. While Bing has integrated OpenAI’s advanced GPT-4 algorithm into its platform, OpenAI operates differently. It provides subscribers with access to the latest version, GPT-4, while free users utilize an older model.
ChatGPT’s generates a lot of its revenue from subscriptions to its ChatGPT Plus services, which gives users access to its more advanced GPT-4 LLM. Besides, users can also pay to have API access to more customizable versions of its software. Interestingly, despite the fall in ChatGPT’s traffic, the developers’ website, platform.openai.com, recorded a 3% traffic rise from May to June.
A dip in ChatGPT’s engagement has also been observed. The average duration of site visits declined by 9% in May, with June’s statistics yet to be calculated.
The reduced interest in ChatGPT and its peers suggests a shift in the AI chatbot market. Novelty is no longer the driving force; now, the emphasis is on proving its true value.
As they say, what goes up must come down—even in the digital universe.