It looks like those reports about declining usership weren't right after all.
OpenAI's CEO has announced that ChatGPT's paid service is pausing new signups because it's just that slammed.
"We are pausing new ChatGPT Plus sign-ups for a bit," Sam Altman tweeted, adding a sad little ":(" at the end of the sentence.
The OpenAI cofounder went on to say that even more people had been using the service since the firm's bombastic DevDay conference earlier in November, which saw the company premiering a ton of new features including customizable chatbots — not to mention Altman's signature bragging about what might come next.
"The surge in usage post [DevDay] has exceeded our capacity," he conceded, "and we want to make sure everyone has a great experience."
During the conference, OpenAI said that about 100 million people use ChatGPT per week — so if that number indeed shot even higher after the hype orgy, it's not hard to see why Altman would want to slow down the pace as the company builds out GPT-5, its forthcoming large language network (LLM).
Curiously enough, DevDay also coincided with a bizarre ChatGPT outage that was initially thought to be the result of normal traffic surges but which was actually, as the company said in an incident report last week, likely a cyberattack — albeit the kind that involves overwhelming servers with artificial traffic, known as a "distributed denial-of-service" or DDoS attack.
On OpenAI's status page, the historic uptime ticker for the last 90 days does indeed illustrate that over the past week or so, both the company's API and ChatGPT itself have experienced partial and widespread outages, which are marked in orange and red as compared to the green that indicates normal operationality.
Per that same service status page, OpenAI also reported that on November 11, all its services including DALL-E and ChatGPT were down, and although the company said it had "identified the root cause" and subsequently fixed it, it didn't reveal what that cause was.
Despite reports earlier this year that OpenAI's usership had declined from its meteoric rise at the beginning of 2023, the new paid subscription halt signals that it's not experiencing any issues relating to user numbers — except, maybe, that it has too many.
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