CEO Sam Altman’s sudden departure from OpenAI Weekend isn’t the only drama happening with ChatGPT. Due to high demand, paid subscriptions to OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus have been discontinued for almost a week.
The company has a waiting list for people wanting to sign up for ChatGPT to be notified when the text-to-speech AI generator is available again.
Interest in ChatGPT Plus increased following OpenAI’s inaugural DevDay developer conference, which took place earlier this month and revealed a host of new features for the paid version of the AI chatbot. Some of these features include the ability to create custom bots with the GPT-4 language model that can be trained on specialized data to perform specific functions. Some of the custom GPTs include a template for Canva, a therapist template called TherapistGPT, and a tweet booster for of birthday cakes, according to ZDNet.
OpenAI also shared more details about GPT-4 Turbo, which is a supercharged version of the language model capable of processing context at 128 KB, double that of standard GPT-4. Other features enable web browsing capability for multi-modal GPT-4 access, DALL-E 3 image generation, and advanced data analysis while still being able to stay in a current model.
Excitement over ChatGPT Plus’ new features has prompted users to sign up for the service, which costs $20 per month. CEO Sam Altman later shared on
This appears to reflect the early days of ChatGPT, when the chatbot was experiencing capacity issues, leading to random downtime. This is what prompted the company to establish a paid subscription tier in the first place. As of April 2023, researchers reported that it costs $700,000 per day, or 36 cents per request, to run ChatGPT. Paid accounts, in addition to various corporate endowments, helped keep the chatbot incident-free for some time. Notably, ChatGPT supports 100 million weekly users – there are also – over 2 million developers on its platform – which helps it get ahead of competing organizations like Meta (formerly Facebook).
The service experienced an outage in early November following its DevDay conference, which left ChatGPT and its API inaccessible to free and paid users and developers for more than 90 minutes. OpenAI said the excess traffic that caused the crash was due to a DDoS attack and not a failure to support users.
There is also a new Tips for getting started notice for those who have not logged in for a while, stating that you should not enter private information into ChatGPT and that you should double-check the information for any inaccuracies.
Amid ChatGPT Plus’ registration hiatus, users were discovered reselling paid accounts on eBay for a fee. While a ChatGPT Plus subscription directly from OpenAI costs just $20, resellers offer access to the service for two to three times that amount. Mashable noted that while not completely illegal, such actions are often a terms of service violation for many companies.
OpenAI specifies in its recently updated terms of service that users who register with ChatGPT must “provide accurate and complete information” when registering an account and accept the authority to register an account at name of another. Violation of the Terms of Service may result in account suspension or termination.
Users who successfully gain access to a resold account advertised as “one year” may also find that OpenAI may terminate the account before that time. It recommends updating the waitlist as the best way to access ChatGPT Plus, Mashable added.
Currently, it is unclear how OpenAI’s management shakeup will affect ChatGPT Plus becoming available to users again. The free version of ChatGPT remained functional throughout this ordeal.