HomeBlogInsightsAI NewsChatGPT Is More Famous, but Character.AI Wins on Engagement

ChatGPT Is More Famous, but Character.AI Wins on Engagement

March 23, 2023 | Updated March 26, 2023

AI chatbot from ex-Google engineers raises $150 million based on high engagement – 3 to 4 times more minutes per visit than other top websites

Character.AI’s founders left Google when it was slow to release their AI chat innovations, but they’re making their mark with the second most popular AI chatbot to date – and the champion in terms of user engagement metrics.

According to today’s Reuters story, AI chatbot Character.AI, with no revenue, raises $150 mln led by Andreessen Horowitz, Character.AI says users spend an average of two hours per day on the site. That’s consistent with Similarweb estimates that time per visit has ranged from 25.4 to 29.7 minutes in recent months, which could easily add up to two hours across a few visits. That time per visit is about 3 to 4 times higher than the average for the top 100 websites – higher even than YouTube, which is famous for claiming lots of user time.

Key takeaways

  • In February 2023, the time per visit was 25.4 minutes for Character.AI, versus 8.4 for ChatGPT (chat.openai.com). We can’t say whether Bing’s version of the OpenAI chatbot is keeping visitors engaged for longer, but none of the other dedicated AI chat sites came close to Character.AI’s score. The second highest of those we looked at, neeva.com, was at 8.5 minutes in February.
  • For comparison, time per visit for YouTube has ranged from 19 to 19.7 minutes per visit over the last three months on record. Time per visit for Facebook and Twitter is close to 10 minutes, and only a handful of small, specialized social media sites capture more time per site than ChatGPT.

Is more time on site good? It’s gold.

You might say ChatGPT users get the answers they want in less time, which could make it more valuable for the dedicated searcher. Character.AI has a more playful personality, with chatbots that answer in the voice of celebrities, historical figures, and fictional characters, making it less efficient but more engaging for those who enjoy its style.

In terms of commercial potential, for purposes like advertising, engagement is gold.

“We started the company because we want to get this technology in the hands of everybody on Earth, a billion people can invent a billion use cases,” Noam Shazeer, CEO at Character.AI, told Reuters. While not currently generating any revenue, Character.AI says it plans to launch a paid subscription “in the not distant future”, while keeping the current free version available, and may also consider running ads.

Time Spent with AI Chatbots

Average Minutes per Visit, Desktop & Mobile Web, Worldwide

Dec 2022Jan 2023Feb 2023

Tremendous growth … on any normal scale

Character.AI drew more than 86 million desktop and mobile web visits in February, up from less than 500,000 in September.

It’s only in comparison with ChatGPT’s hypergrowth that Character.AI’s momentum looks diminished. ChatGPT, which just launched at the end of November 2022, topped 1 billion visits in February.

Compared to other top websites

For context on how strong Character.AI’s time per visit is – 25.4 minutes in February and as high as 29.7 minutes in recent months – we looked up this statistic for the top 100 websites (ranked by traffic) for the US. Here’s what that looks like sorted by minutes per visit.

Top Websites, Worldwide, Ranked by Minutes Per Visit

By this measure, Character.AI ranks higher than YouTube, WhatsApp, and Roku, as well as social media sites built around the goal of creating high engagement.

Here are a few points of comparison.

Popular Social Media Sites, Time Per Visit

With its investment, Andreessen Horowitz valued the startup at $1 billion.

The Similarweb Insights & Communications team is available to pull additional or updated data on request for the news media (journalists are invited to write to press@similarweb.com). When citing our data, please reference Similarweb as the source and link back to the most relevant blog post or similarweb.com/blog/insights/.

Contact: For more information, please write to press@similarweb.com.

Report By: David F. Carr, Senior Insights Manager


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