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Is ChatGPT Going To Be Paid Service: Learn Now!

ChatGPT was released on November 30, 2022. For a while, when we visited ChatGPT, a notification bar at the bottom of the screen had been welcoming us indicating that it is currently available as a “Free research preview”.

So back then there was only one free version of ChatGPT. OpenAI, the developer company of ChatGPT later decided to monetize ChatGPT. They introduced a new, paid subscription plan in February 2023: ChatGPT Plus. Learn how you can upgrade your account to ChatGPT Plus.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.


The question of whether ChatGPT is going to be a paid service has sparked curiosity among users. The current version remains free. However, the evolution of ChatGPT and the potential for more advanced features may lead to changes in the pricing model.

OpenAI has various options at its disposal, including freemium models, subscription-based services, commercial licensing, and partnerships with other companies. Each approach offers unique benefits and challenges, striking a balance between broad accessibility and sustaining development efforts.

As the demand for AI-powered language models continues to rise, it is reasonable to anticipate some form of monetization for ChatGPT. However, OpenAI remains committed to its mission of ensuring that the technology is accessible to as many people as possible.

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