Character.AI, the AI chatbot startup backed by a16z and founded by former Google AI researchers, has launched an innovative feature for its subscribers. Renowned for offering customizable AI companions with distinct personalities and tools for personalization, Character.AI now introduces the "Character Group Chat" feature. This feature enables users to engage in group conversations with multiple AI characters simultaneously, alongside human participants.
Character AI Group Chat provides a versatile experience, allowing users to create chats exclusively with their favorite AI companions or mix humans and AI entities. The primary goal is to facilitate social connections among friends, foster collaborative discussions, and enable real-time idea sharing with AI companions participating actively.
With Character.AI Chat users can explore diverse scenarios, such as AI scientists and thinkers conversing together, envisioning dialogues between luminaries like Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Nikola Tesla, and Stephen Hawking. Alternatively, they can create group chats featuring mythological gods, like Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon.
In practical contexts, users may initiate group chats centered around specific topics or themes, such as travel, gaming, book clubs, or role-playing. The introduction of AI companions to these discussions enhances facilitation and augments the conversation experience.
While the concept of integrating AI chatbots into group chats is not exclusive to Character.AI, other tech giants have also made strides in this domain. Snapchat's My AI chatbot can be incorporated into group chats through the command @myai. Meta, recently at its Connect conference, introduced a range of AI-powered bots across its platforms, including WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram's DMs. These bots include AI personas based on celebrities like MrBeast, Paris Hilton, Tom Brady, Charli D'Amelio, Snoop Dogg, and more. These developments pose competition to Character.AI, which had secured $150 million in Series A funding earlier in the year for its AI companions.
Notably, Character.AI's new group chat feature is not free. Initially, it is exclusively available to c.ai+ subscribers, aiming to gather feedback and enhance the experience. C.ai+ is a $9.99 per month subscription plan offered by the startup, providing benefits such as skip-the-line access, faster message generation, and access to an exclusive community channel for feedback and support. Character.AI intends to make this feature accessible to the general public in the future.
Upon launch, the Character Group Chat feature is available on the Character. AI mobile app for both iOS and Android, with plans to expand to web platforms later. The company's app experienced rapid growth, amassing over half a million installs within its first six days. Third-party data from market intelligence provider data.ai indicates that the app boasts nearly 30 million monthly active users globally, with approximately 7 million in the United States. While the firm estimates lifetime gross in-app purchase revenue at $1.3 million, it's important to note that c.ai+ is sold through the web, and this figure doesn't provide a comprehensive view of the company's overall revenue.