ChatGPT, the suddenly popular natural language chatbot created by the start-up OpenAI and backed by Microsoft (ticker: MSFT), announced Wednesday that it is launching a paid pilot subscription plan for its artificial intelligence application.
OpenAI said ChatGPT Plus “can chat with you, answer follow-up questions, and challenge incorrect assumptions.”
For $20 a month, subscribers will get general access to ChatGPT, “even during peak times,” faster response times, and first dibs on new features and improvements, based in part on user feedback since its launch.
“We’ve seen users find value across a range of professional use-cases, including drafting & editing content, brainstorming ideas, programming help, and learning new topics,” OpenAI said.
The offer is limited to users in the U.S., which UBS analyst Lloyd Walmsley noted Wednesday was on pace to surpass 100 million monthly active users in January, up from 57 million in December.
That’s faster than the nine months it took TikTok to reach 100 million users, and the 2.5 years Meta Platforms‘ (META) Instagram took, he said. “We cannot remember an app scaling at this pace,” the analyst added.
Walmsley also said ChatGPT was averaging more than 13 million visitors a day, more than double the level in December, and that some venture-capital investors speculate that the market for generative AI applications could be as large as $1 trillion.
OpenAI will invite users from its wait list in the coming weeks, but said: “We plan to expand access and support to additional countries and regions soon.” The company said it is also exploring lower-cost plans, business plans, and “data packs” for greater availability.
“We love our free users and will continue to offer free access to ChatGPT,” but by offering a subscription tier, “we will be able to help support free access availability to as many people as possible,” the company said.
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