Character.AI: The a16z-Backed Chatbot Start-up Skyrockets to 1.7M Installs in its Debut Week.

Character.AI: The a16z-Backed Chatbot Start-up Skyrockets to 1.7M Installs in its Debut Week.

Character.AI, a new contender in the growing world of AI via consumer mobile apps, has announced a stellar launch, accruing over 1.7 million installs within its first week on the market. The Andreessen Horowitz-backed AI app creator, which earlier this year attracted $150 million in Series A funding and a billion-dollar valuation, offers personalized AI companions boasting unique personalities and allows users to create their own characters.

The success of Character.AI owes much to its founders, Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas, AI veterans who led a team at Google that developed LaMDA, a language model that enhances conversational AI experiences. After leaving Google due to disagreements on AI deployment strategies, the duo founded Character Technologies, the parent company of Character.AI.

Character.AI's mobile platform was launched globally on May 23 for iOS and Android users, achieving particularly significant success on Google Play. The app clocked over 700,000 Android installs within the first 48 hours, surpassing popular entertainment apps like Netflix, Disney+, and Prime Video. The popularity seems to be continuing, the company confirmed, with substantial installs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, and the U.S.

Another driving factor in the mobile app's success is the established popularity of the web experience that preceded it. Before the mobile app's launch, the Character.AI web app was already receiving over 200 million visits per month, with users spending an average of 29 minutes per visit. This engagement level is claimed to be 300% higher than OpenAI's ChatGPT.

Character.AI also reports strong user engagement rates. After sending their first message to a character, users spend on average more than 2 hours on the platform. Over 10 million custom AI characters have been created by users to date.

Despite the remarkable download numbers, the initial demand for Character.AI seems to have slightly declined post-launch. However, the company denies utilizing a large portion of its funding for marketing to boost initial installs, claiming that 99% of its downloads were organic.

With its impressive debut week and strong user engagement, Character.AI is setting a high bar in the AI app market. It remains to be seen how this dynamic will unfold in the coming months, as the company continues to compete with established apps like ChatGPT.