ChatGPT sees first-ever traffic decline

ChatGPT, the highly popular AI chatbot introduced in November, recently experienced a notable setback as its website encountered a decline in monthly traffic and unique visitors in June. Reported by Similarweb, a renowned analytics firm, the global desktop and mobile traffic to the ChatGPT website decreased by 9.7 percent compared to May, accompanied by a 5.7 percent drop in the number of unique visitors. Moreover, the data reveals that visitors spent 8.5 percent less time on the website.

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This decline in traffic has sparked discussions among industry experts regarding evolving user preferences and the impact of generative AI on the market. David Carr, Senior Insights Manager at Similarweb, suggests that the decrease could be attributed to the diminishing novelty of the chatbot. On the other hand, Rishi Jaluria, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, interprets the data as a sign of the growing demand for generative AI that provides real-time information.

Since its launch, ChatGPT has created a frenzy of generative AI usage, enabling users to perform various daily tasks, including writing and coding. Its remarkable success was evident as it quickly amassed 100 million monthly active users within just two months of its introduction in January.

ChatGPT’s impressive growth has propelled it to become one of the top 20 websites globally, currently attracting over 1.5 billion monthly visits. This achievement is further highlighted by surpassing the popularity of Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, which incorporates OpenAI’s technology.

However, as the market for generative AI becomes increasingly competitive, several new players have emerged, aiming to capture a share of the growing demand. Notable contenders challenging ChatGPT’s dominance include Google’s Bard chatbot and the free chatbot offered by Microsoft’s search engine Bing, powered by OpenAI.

Sarah Hindlian-Bowler, head of Technology Research Americas at Macquarie, acknowledges the challenges associated with rapid user growth, such as potential accuracy issues resulting from the heavy infrastructure and the need to adapt the model to changing circumstances and regulatory considerations.

In May, OpenAI expanded the reach of ChatGPT by launching the ChatGPT app on the iOS platform, potentially diverting traffic from the website. The app’s popularity has been partly attributed to the summer break for schools, which resulted in a reduced number of students seeking homework assistance and a shift in usage patterns.