ChatGPT on track to surpass 100 million users faster than TikTok or Instagram: UBS

ChatGPT, the AI ​​chatbot that has garnered a lot of attention since its launch two months ago, is on track to surpass 100 million monthly active users (MAUs), according to data compiled by UBS.

This would mean that ChatGPT has been adopted more quickly than even Meta-owned TikTok or Instagram (META). By UBS’s count, it took TikTok nine months to reach 100 million MAUs, while Instagram took 30 months to reach the same benchmark. ChatGPT could be on its way to breaking even TikTok’s record, earning 100 million MAUs since its November launch.

“The data on DAU suggest [ChatGPT] will surpass 100 million MAU in January, a huge achievement in such a short period of time,” the UBS analysts wrote in the February 1 note. “In the 20 years since the Internet space, we can’t recall a faster ramp up in a consumer Internet application.”

[Read more: AI-related stocks soar on ChatGPT craze]

Big Tech has taken notice. For one, Microsoft (MSFT) has upped the ante on its investment in OpenAI, the San Francisco-based developer of ChatGPT, committing another $10 billion in January. Furthermore, the popularity of the conversational AI application has been widely discussed as a threat to the dominance of Google parent company Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL).

While talking about ChatGPT as a full-blown “Google killer” is probably a stretch, UBS analysts including Lloyd Walmsley, Karl Kierstead and Timothy Acuri believe the app’s success has put Google in a bind.

“Google is in a catch-22, where (1) it fails to impress, fueling questions about competitive position or (2) it overcommits, raising concerns about (i) monetization risk and (ii) margin erosion they wrote.

“The market has the potential to be extremely large”

UBS research also suggests that the total addressable market ChatGPT operates in could be worth as much as $1 trillion, a number analysts heard from venture capitalists that, while optimistic, is not entirely out of the question.

The ChatGPT sign on the OpenAI website displayed on a screen is seen in this illustrative photo taken in Krakow, Poland, on January 31, 2022. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“This may sound like a crazy bullish scenario and prices could fall, but our bottom line is that the market has the potential to be extremely large,” the UBS analysts wrote.

OpenAI announced this month that it was launching a subscription called “ChatGPT Plus” that starts at $20 a month. There is a chance that people will buy, especially if ChatGPT continues to gain momentum; It’s just, right now, people are talking about it and searching for it, of course, on Google.

“Google Trends data shows that worldwide Google search queries for the terms ‘chatgpt’ and ‘chat gpt’ are near peak volumes since the site launched in November 2022, and interest from Search reached its highest level to date just a few days ago,” the analyst group wrote on February 1.

allie garfinkle is a senior technology reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @agarfinks and in LinkedIn.

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