ChatGPT sets record for fastest-growing user base - analyst note


FILE PHOTO: CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman attends the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., July 6, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - ChatGPT, the popular chatbot from OpenAI, is estimated to have reached 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after launch, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history, according to a UBS study on Wednesday.

The report, citing data from analytics firm Similarweb, said an average of about 13 million unique visitors had used ChatGPT per day in January, more than double the levels of December.

"In 20 years following the internet space, we cannot recall a faster ramp in a consumer internet app," UBS analysts wrote in the note.

It took TikTok about nine months after its global launch to reach 100 million users and Instagram 2-1/2 years, according to data from Sensor Tower.

ChatGPT can generate articles, essays, jokes and even poetry in response to prompts. OpenAI, a private company backed by Microsoft Corp, made it available to the public for free in late November.

On Thursday, OpenAI announced a $20 monthly subscription, initially for users in the United States only. It would provide a more stable and faster service as well as the opportunity to try new features first, the company said.

Analysts believe the viral launch of ChatGPT will give OpenAI a first-mover advantage against other AI companies. The growing usage, while imposing substantial computing cost on OpenAI, has also provided valuable feedback to help train the chatbot's responses.

The company said the subscription revenue would help cover the computing cost.

Availability of the tool has raised questions about facilitation of academic dishonesty and misinformation.

Last month, Microsoft announced another multi-billion-dollar investment in OpenAI in the form of cash and provision of cloud computing.

(Reporting by Krystal Hu in Toronto; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Bradley Perrett)

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