OpenAI launches ChatGPT Plus at $20 per month: what to know

For the fee, one can get guaranteed access and faster responses.
Ameya Paleja
ChatGPT logo on smartphone screen
ChatGPT logo on smartphone screen

SOPA Images/Getty 

Open AI, the company behind the hugely popular chatbot, ChatGPT, has introduced a $20 monthly subscription plan for users, even as it continues to keep the chatbot free for most users, a press release said. The service has been introduced in the U.S. first and will be rolled out in other regions shortly.

ChatGPT, launched in November last year, is an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot that provides conversational responses to user queries. From questions about deep science to poetry, the chatbot seems to have mastered them all and provides responses that have vowed its over a million users.

Such has been the popularity of the chatbot; users have often found it hard to access the service during peak times. While Microsoft, one of the investors in the development of the technology, plans to give enterprise access to the chatbot through its Azure OpenAI services, individual users can avail of premium access directly with Open AI through its now-launched subscription plan.

What does ChatGPT Plus have to offer?

ChatGPT was launched in November as a research preview so that OpenAI could learn about the system's strengths and weaknesses and seek feedback from users, the company said in its press release.

Feedback received from its millions of users has helped OpenAI improve the chatbot through multiple updates. As users look to deploy ChatGPT for a variety of purposes ranging from brainstorming ideas to creating content or writing code, OpenAI is looking to generate some revenue from these attempts by offering premium access at $20 a month.

For the fee, a user can expect public access to ChatGPT even during peak times. So, no more messages about how the chatbot is at capacity or having to hold on to your query until the network congestion eases.

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Also, users can expect faster responses when they subscribe to the Plus plan and get priority access to new features and improvements.

Open AI charts future of chatbots

OpenAI has also said that ChatGPT will remain accessible for users even if they do not subscribe to the Plus plan. This means that the company is using the tried and tested 'freemium' model, where a small number of users bear the cost of the entire operation. This keeps the gates open for more free users, some of whom might eventually become paid users later.

Apart from this, the company is also exploring low-cost plans and data packs that could allow users to access advanced features for a lesser fee. This is an improvement on the company's earlier plans to launch a ChatGPT Pro service that would have reportedly cost $42 a month.

Many users then complained that the pricing would be too high since many hadn't really figured out a way to monetize ChatGPT. However, the now calibrated subscription price has also set a threshold for other chatbots that might enter the market in the future.

Not only would they have to offer something exciting to take the sheen off ChatGPT, but the attempts at monetizing the service would also have to be around the $20-a-month benchmark that Open AI has now set.

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