According to a Similarweb report, ChatGPT experienced a third consecutive month of declining visits worldwide, with a 3.2% decrease in audience in August, following two months of double-digit reductions. The generative AI chatbot also saw a decline in average usage time, dropping from 8.7 minutes in March to seven minutes in August, according to Reuters data. However, despite this decline, OpenAI’s conversational tool still attracts a large number of users, with a total of 180.5 million unique visitors and 1.43 billion visits in August. In comparison, Microsoft’s search engine Bing had 1.2 billion visits in the same month.
Decline in Audience on ChatGPT
The public showed a lot of interest in ChatGPT shortly after its launch in November 2022. The tool set a record as the fastest app to reach 100 million users, a milestone that was surpassed by the social network Threads in July. In February 2023, the chatbot reached 1 billion monthly visits, and the following month it surpassed 1.5 billion visits. However, the growth slowed down in April and May, and starting from June, the number of monthly users started to decline. One hypothesis for this decline in usage is related to the summer vacation period in the United States. With students out of school and university during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the queries to the AI for assignments and studies decreased. When considering only users in the United States, the number of visits to ChatGPT declined in the months of May, June, and July, corresponding to the vacation period, and recorded a slight recovery of 0.4% in August.
Competition and Criticism of Generative AI
There are also other explanations for these numbers. In recent months, ChatGPT has gained competitors like Google’s Bard and other AI tools integrated into the browsing experience. Additionally, research from US universities indicates that the large-scale language models GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 – which power ChatGPT and Bing Chat – produce many incorrect answers and are getting worse over time. These studies may have contributed to the decline in fever for OpenAI’s chatbot after the initial boom. Despite this, the company may still have excellent financial results, with revenue of up to $1 billion in 12 months, following the launch of their conversational AI.