Is ChatGPT Going To Be Paid Service: Learn Now!

For a while, when we visit ChatGPT, a notification bar at the bottom of the screen has been welcoming us indicating that it is currently available as a “Free research preview”. So the short response to the question posed in the title is: Yes, it is probably going to be paid service soon. But how, when, and why? To answer that, let’s make some detailed explanation.

homepage of chatgpt showing a nav bar at the bottom of the screen stating this is free research preview

ChatGPT, a Large Language Model (LLM), was made publicly available on November 30, 2022. Since its launch, it has been widely adopted by millions of users worldwide, becoming popular at an exponential rate due to its capabilities and functionality. If you are amazed or trying to figure out how it achieves providing that answers, we highly recommend checking our post on that.

OpenAI, the company that developed ChatGPT

ChatGPT was developed by OpenAI, a company founded on December 11, 2015, by a group including Sam Altman and Elon Musk. In 2019, OpenAI LP received a significant investment of $1 billion from Microsoft and Matthew Brown Companies. The company has a history of creating AI-based products, such as GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3), which is an unsupervised transformer language model and the successor of GPT-2. GPT-3 was first described in May 2020 and served as the base model for ChatGPT. ChatGPT on the other hand is actually the latest announcement of the company and the only one where users can interact freely over web browsers.

a photo of Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI

OpenAI’s Pricing System

Even before ChatGPT’s release, you had the ability to access its features by calling the GPT-3 model’s API. However, this option came with a cost, as you were required to pay for each token used. Tokens can be thought of as small segments of words. When the API processes your requests, it breaks them down into these tokens. The tokens don’t always align with word boundaries and may include spaces and sub-words. If you’re interested in learning more about tokens, you can find more information on the official page. You can also learn about OpenAI’s current pricing model for its other APIs besides ChatGPT on its website.

ChatGPT is free?

ChatGPT was made available for free, allowing anyone to easily access it through their browser by visiting its website and starting a conversation right away. This is an exception to OpenAI’s usual practice of requiring payment for tokens when utilizing their APIs. OpenAI has indicated that this free availability of ChatGPT is meant for research purposes.

So what’s the plan going forward? Will OpenAI eventually monetize ChatGPT by offering paid services for its use? There have been some clues given by OpenAI.

ChatGPT is going to be a paid service?

On January 10, 2023, OpenAI in its official Discord account announced the following content. In their message, they clearly stated that they are considering monetizing ChatGPT, and they believe that monetization would be one way for improving their existing product and providing long-term viability.

an announcement from the official account of OpenAI indicating they are considering monetizing ChatGPT

On January 11, 2023, Greg Brockman, President, and Co-Founder of OpenAI, announced on Twitter that they are developing a professional version of ChatGPT that will have increased capabilities and faster performance. He invited interested users to join a waitlist by filling out a form on a Google document, which included questions about monetizing the product.

a tweet of Greg Brockman related to monetizing ChatGPT

How ChatGPT is going to be monetized?

This is completely unknown for now. As you have previously seen above, they are still getting feedback from users on how to achieve that. A few possible ways would be:

  • Monthly subscription: Having unlimited messaging for a monthly fee.
  • Only charging companies: Charge companies who want to implement it into their product whereas keeping it free for people
  • Having a free version with the advertisement: There would be also a full version with no ads but you have to pay for it.
  • Charging based on the usage of tokens: As with any other APIs of OpenAI, charging users based on their usage of ChatGPT could be another way.
  • Donation system: Instead of charging users, there could be a donation offering.


As the use of ChatGPT grows in popularity, the system is facing increased demand which has led to the need for scaling up its services. We sometimes are affected by this, and run into ChatGPT being at capacity right now error or feel a little bit throttling.

OpenAI, with the goal of ensuring the long-term sustainability of ChatGPT and enhancing its functionality, is contemplating monetizing the platform. While this is still in the planning stages, it is likely that monetization will ultimately be necessary in order to continue to develop and improve the system.

So, if you have any thoughts, or any preferences over the ways of monetizing it, comment down below. Share your ideas and thoughts. We welcome all of them.

Have a good day with AI!

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