OpenAI launched ChatGPT nearly a year ago. It has ever since been in the headlines. The app once held the record for the fastest time to reach 1 million users, but Threads quickly took over the title. The latest update is that it is not accepting sign-ups for its paid ChatGPT Plus amid a surge in usage.

OpenAI halts new sign-ups for ChatGPT Plus

OpenAI has temporarily suspended new sign-ups for its ChatGPT Plus subscription service, announced CEO Sam Altman. He wrote on X (formerly, Twitter), “We are pausing new ChatGPT Plus sign-ups for a bit.” He added that this is due to the “surge in usage”. However, users can still join a waitlist and will be notified when subscriptions reopen. The ChatGPT Plus subscription costs $20 per month.

Just last week, OpenAI held its first developer conference. The company unveiled major advancements and new features for its widely used chatbot. The new GPT 4 empowers users to create personalized ChatGPT versions tailored to particular tasks. This has reportedly spurred a surge in demand for OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus.

The demand for chatbots is high, but so is the operating cost

Sam Altman mentioned the same in the post on X amid the surge in users. He wrote that the surge “has exceeded our capacity, and we want to make sure everyone has a great experience.”

The company is facing a dilemma: it needs more funds to operate its popular chatbot ChatGPT. And most importantly, it also needs to upgrade its servers to host more paying subscribers.

Sam Altman has admitted to the Financial Times that the costs of operating and training ChatGPT are “punishingly high.” He hopes that Microsoft, a long-time partner of OpenAI, will continue to invest in the company. Microsoft has already invested $10 billion in OpenAI, and Altman is hoping that the company will provide additional funding to help OpenAI overcome its current challenges.

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