OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the popular AI chatbot, has experienced a decline in users for the first time since its release. Data from Similarweb reveals that both mobile and desktop traffic to ChatGPT’s website dropped by nearly ten percent in June compared to the previous month. This decrease in user numbers has sparked speculation as to why it may be happening.
One theory suggests that the decline could be attributed to the absence of students during the summer break. Some students have been known to use ChatGPT for generating entire papers, and with them out of school, it is possible that this specific user group is no longer utilizing the service as frequently. However, without more evidence, it is difficult to determine the validity of this theory.
While this explanation may be plausible, it raises larger questions about the long-term viability and appeal of AI chatbots. If ChatGPT heavily relies on student usage during academic periods, it implies a restricted target audience and limited range of applications. Analysts express concerns over this potential limitation and suggest that if the drop-off is indeed due to students on summer break, it may indicate a smaller market opportunity for AI chatbots overall.
Nevertheless, OpenAI’s ventures extend beyond ChatGPT alone. GPT-4, the underlying technology behind the chatbot, is utilized by Microsoft for its Bing AI search engine as part of a substantial partnership between the two companies. This collaboration briefly positioned Bing ahead of Google in terms of search engine performance. Additionally, OpenAI’s newly launched API platform continues to grow steadily, allowing developers to leverage the technology for their own tools and applications.
While blaming a decline on student usage seems plausible on one hand, it obscures more significant questions regarding the long-term success and impact of AI technology. Only time will reveal whether ChatGPT can sustain its popularity and whether alternative applications can compensate for any potential limitations faced by AI chatbots.