June 8, 2024

By Burton Kelso
The Technology Expert

When ChatGPT Plus was released in November of 2022, it made a lot of sense for you to pay the $ 20-a-month subscription fee.

The paid version of ChatGPT offered you a faster interface, a more robust database of information, and access to a list of GPTs for you to download. Now, with the release of OpenAI’s new and improved GPT-4o model, it may become harder for you to continue your subscription as many of the tools that were only available to those who paid for a subscription, may eventually be available to everyone. Added to this, is since the original release of ChatGPT there are a host of LLM (large language models) available to you. AI tools like Google’s Gemini, Meta’s Meta AI, and Microsoft Co-pilot, it’s almost unclear if it’s worth paying for a subscription. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of having a ChatGPT subscription and what route you should take when it comes to using a LLM.

It’s my opinion ChatGPT is offering more robust features for free is so they can keep up with some of the more powerful LLMs that offer you the same basic tools without a fee. Since 2023, Google’s Gemini and Microsoft’s co-pilot have offered you a lot basic features for free that the free version ChatGPT wasn’t able to. For non-paying subscribers, ChatGPT’s database was only current up to 2022 and had no access to the Internet while since mid-2023, Gemini and Copilot were able to to pull information off the web. Also, for the past few months, both programs could generate text-to-image, something that was only previously available with a paid ChatGPT account. With the release of Meta’s Meta.AI, you get many of the complex features of a paid ChatGPT account for free and you don’t have to sign up for an account.

You should have a subscription to ChatGPT Plus if you …

You are an above-average ChatGPT User. If a majority of your day-to-day work revolves around using ChatGPT, downloading, and using other GPTs to integrate with the chatbot, keep paying the $20 a month. Even though GPT-4o will give free subscribers a lot of the same features that were only available with a paid subscription, free users will be limited in how often they can use those features. Users with a paid subscription will be able to ask GPT-4o five times as many questions as free users.

You want new features as they roll out. As a paid subscriber, you’ve always had access to the latest tools and features as they became available and that will remain the case. According the the web site and app, you also get access to GPT-4, GPT‑4o, GPT-3.5, access to advanced data analysis, file uploads, vision, and web browsing, DALL·E image generation, as well as creating and using custom GPTs

You should use free ChatGPT if you …

You are new to the AI game. I’m sure many of you jumped on the ChatGPT subscription game because you thought it was the thing to do. If you were going to use an AI chatbot, you felt that if you were going to get the most of the tool, why not pay for it? If you want to get familiar with AI to see if it is a good fit for your personal or professional life, you can do so without a financial risk. Think about all of the times you signed up for a subscription for a product or service and never used it to it’s potential. It’s no longer the case with AI because you can use Gemini, Meta.AI, and Co-pilot without risk.

You don’t like paying for a monthly subscription. I hate paying for subscriptions, especially in this subscription-based digital world we live in. There are still a lot of tools on the internet available for free or a one-time purchase. Call me old-fashioned, but I miss the days of a one-time purchase for a program. Also, knowing that a lot of the features in ChatGPTthat were available to paying subscribers will now be available to all users, even if it is limited usage.

You use ChatGPT on a casual basis. If you’re using ChatGPT once a week or a few times a month, you probably won’t reach the limits of ChatGPT-4o. You also need to consider that if you’re a casual user, you won’t even notice the limitations of a free ChatGPT account offer. If you’re using an AI chatbot like an advanced version of Google, even the most basic features will get you the results you want. Creating an exercise program, meal prep for the week, a business plan for your business, a blog post, podcast script, and helping kids with homework can be generated from any chatbot, paid or free.

Hopefully, this will give you enough information for you to decide if you need to continue your subscription to ChatGPT or if you can use the free version as well as Gemini, Co-Pilot or Meta.AI. If you have any questions, please reach out. I’m always available.

Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@callintegralnow.com. If you prefer to connect with me on social media, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I love technology. I’ve read all of the manuals and I want to make technology fun and easy to use for everyone! If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. My team of friendly tech experts are always standing by to answer your questions and help make your technology useful and fun. Reach out to us at www.callintegralnow.com or phone at 888.256.0829.

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