OpenAI Stops New ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Due to Demand

After last week's big GPT-4 Turbo and custom GPT reveals, OpenAI can't keep up with demand for ChatGPT Plus subscriptions.

OpenAI has announced it is temporarily stopping new users from signing up to its paid ChatGPT Plus service, due to “overwhelming demand” following the recent launch of its GPT-4 Turbo model.

Last week at the company’s first developer conference, dubbed OpenAI DevDay, it unveiled the newer and cheaper Turbo language models alongside custom GPTs – a new feature that allows paying use to create their own chatbots.

The AI startup also shared the news that around 100 million people use its tools every week, with over 90% of Fortune 500 companies said to be building tools on the platform.

New ChatGPT Plus Features Boost Demand

ChatGPT Plus is the paid version of OpenAI’s wildly popular chatbot, ChatGPT. It costs $20 a month and subscribers benefit from a host of premium features.

Previously, that meant access to OpenAI’s GPT-4 large language model, as well as things like the ability to use ChatGPT plugins and take advantage of integration of its DALL -E AI image generator.

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Now, it also includes GPT-4 Turbo access and OpenAI’s custom GPT creator, which lets you make your own GPTs for a range of specific tasks. Examples include creative design, teaching, and gaming – but really you can build one for anything and all without the need for any coding knowledge.

Unsurprisingly, this has generated considerable excitement amongst ChatGPT users – so much so the platform is having to shutdown signups for the time being.

Too Much Interest in ChatGPT Plus Prompts Shutdown

Put simply, the excitement around the new ChatGPT Plus features has been too much for OpenAI’s servers to handle, as people have rushed to sign up for the paid tier based on its new abilities.

In an X (formerly Twitter) post shared this week, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said that the pause in sign ups was to make sure user experience wasn’t impacted.

“The surge in usage post DevDay has exceeded our capacity and we want to make sure everyone has a great experience,” he wrote on the platform.

That’s somewhat ironic, given that one of the original selling points of ChatGPT Plus was that subscribers would get access to the chatbot even when demand was highest.

Is a ChatGPT Plus Subscription Even Worth it?

As a result, some people are now debating the necessity of a ChatGPT subscription plan, citing a limited number of prompts and the fact that Bing chat already offers some of the ChatGPT Plus features for free.

Other key ChatGPT Plus features are advertised include faster response times, improved stability, better translation capabilities, and of course the priority access to new features and improvements.

If you spend a lot of time using the tool, and consistently come up against being blocked due to high traffic or slowed down in your work , a subscription may be right up your street.

By the same reasoning, for more sporadic ChatGPT users who are mainly on the platform out of curiosity, the basic and free version should remain sufficient.

ChatGPT Plus Waitlist: When Will ChatGPT Subscriptions Reopen?

It’s worth knowing that subscriptions can also be cancelled at any time. When you are able to get access to one, of course.

There’s no word yet on when the subscription sign-up list will open back up. However, Altman went on to state that users can sign up to a waitlist and be notified via the app.

ChatGPT Plus is available across the world including the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, India, and more. 

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Written by:
Ellis Di Cataldo (MA) has over 9 years experience writing about, and for, some of the world’s biggest tech companies. She's been the lead writer across digital campaigns, always-on content and worldwide product launches, for global brands including Sony, Electrolux, Byrd, The Open University and Barclaycard. Her particular areas of interest are business trends, startup stories and product news.
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