Steve Jennings/Getty Images
- After two months of unlimited free use, OpenAI has announced a subscription model for ChatGPT.
- Users will still be able to access the chatbot for free but those who pay will get extra perks.
- Here’s what we know about the difference between ChatGPT Plus and the free version.
After around two months of unlimited free use, OpenAI has finally announced plans to monetize its viral AI chatbot, ChatGPT — at least in part.
Users will still be able to access the chatbot for free but those who pay a monthly subscription for “ChatGPT Plus” will have priority at busy times and access to new features.
Some form of a subscription model for ChatGPT has been in the works for a while. OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, floated the prospect in December, calling the operating costs “eye-watering” in a Twitter post. Last month, OpenAI opened a waitlist for the “experimental” update.
US users on OpenAI’s waitlist will be invited to subscribe to ChatGPT Plus in the next few weeks. Here’s how the paid version differs from the free one.
Access during peak times
ChatGPT’s huge popularity has meant some users struggle to access the chatbot when the site is particularly overloaded. Frequent users will be familiar with the “ChatGPT is at capacity now” holding page.
However, paying users will get “general access to ChatGPT, even at peak times,” OpenAI said in a blogpost.
ChatGPT usually generates its responses in a matter of minutes or even seconds for simple queries. ChatGPT Plus promises an even faster response time. Sometimes the chatbot can lag with lengthy requests and users are left waiting.
It’s unclear how powerful the paid version will be but the company is offering up the potential of speedier responses for users with time-sensitive tasks.
ChatGPT Plus also promises priority access to new features and improvements. It’s unclear at this point what these new features will be but OpenAI has already been updating the chatbot with small improvements.
OpenAI incorporated feedback mechanisms in the rollout of ChatGPT. There is an option to thumbs up or thumbs down to the chatbot’s answers and users can provide more context when things go wrong, allowing OpenAI to collect feedback.
It’s likely important improvements will also be rolled out to the free version but paying subscribers may get first dibs on coveted new features.