ChatGPT already has 100M users, fastest growing platform in the world

Photo credit Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa/Sipa USA/Archiv

The AI-powered writing tool ChatGPT has exploded in popularity, reaching 100 million users in its first two months of public release.

That's more than four times faster than TikTok, which took nine months to reach 100 million users. By comparison, it took Instagram more than two years to reach that many users, according to app analysis firm Sensor Tower.

The immense prevalence of ChatGPT makes it the fastest-growing consumer application in history, according to a study by analytics firm UBS.

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

The report noted that 13 million unique visitors used ChatGPT per day in January, more than double the levels of December.

UBS equities analyst Lloyd Walmsley called the growth "extraordinary."

"This is the fastest consumer application I have seen to hit 100 million monthly active users in my career covering this space," Walmsley told CBS MoneyWatch. "The next question is obviously what its staying power will be. There may be an element of people just coming to look."

While ChatGPT has many applications, some are concerned it can be used for cheating in academic settings, or to replace writing or coding jobs. The app works by automatically generating paragraphs, articles, essays and more to simple text prompts. The app can chat with users, answer follow-up questions, and challenge incorrect assumptions.

ChatGPT was made available to the public on November 30 and remains free for everyone to use because it's still in the research and feedback-collection phase. It's not clear when the app could start charging users, or how much a subscription would cost.

On Thursday, developer OpenAI announced a $20 monthly subscription for an enhanced version of the app called ChatGPT Plus. Available only to users in the United States, this version of the app provides faster response times and priority access to new features and improvements.

"We launched ChatGPT as a research preview so we could learn more about the system's strengths and weaknesses," the company said in a statement. "Since then, millions of people have given us feedback, we've made several important updates."

OpenAI said it will continue to refine and expand the app based on consumer feedback as it actively explores options for lower-cost plans, business plans, and data packs for more availability.

"We love our free users and will continue to offer free access to ChatGPT," the company said. "By offering this subscription pricing, we will be able to help support free access availability to as many people as possible."

Featured Image Photo Credit: Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa/Sipa USA/Archiv