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Snap's My AI Feature Faces Unexpected Backlash from Users

The introduction of Snapchat's My AI feature, an AI-powered chatbot, has been met with mixed reactions as users raise concerns about its placement in the app and privacy implications.

Users are highly dissatisfied with Snapchat's new My AI feature. Photo illustration: Artisana

🧠 Stay Ahead of the Curve

  • Snap launched its My AI chatbot feature to Snapchat, resulting in a surge of one-star reviews and user dissatisfaction.

  • The backlash highlights growing concerns over AI integration and potential privacy issues in messaging apps.

  • The negative response to My AI serves as a warning for other companies pursuing AI integration, such as Meta and Twitter.

By Michael Zhang

April 24, 2023

Last week, Snap unveiled its "My AI" feature to its global Snapchat user base with great anticipation. Developed using OpenAI's ChatGPT API, the feature acts as a helpful assistant designed to answer any question and was initially available to paid subscribers. However, a surge of one-star reviews and vocal complaints from Snapchat users has signaled their dissatisfaction with the chatbot's presence in their messaging app.

67% One-Star Reviews

Snapchat has experienced a rapid rise in negative reviews following the introduction of the My AI feature. Two mobile app tracking firms, Sensor Tower and Apptopia, have both noted a significant increase in unfavorable feedback.

Sensor Tower reported that 67% of Snapchat reviews in the past week had a one-star rating, resulting in an average score of 1.67. Apptopia observed a similar trend with a threefold increase in one-star ratings coinciding with the global launch of the My AI feature.

One-star reviews spiked in the week of Snapchat's launch of its My AI feature. Photo credit: Sensor Tower

“Weird and creepy”, “Nobody asked for it”

The backlash against My AI occurs as companies increasingly strive to incorporate generative AI features into their existing software. Despite numerous top-ranked Apple App Store apps being chatbots, Snapchat users appear unsettled by My AI's integration in their beloved messaging app. One common complaint focuses on the chatbot's prominent position in users' inboxes, with only paid subscribers having the option to hide it.

Users have also described the AI as "creepy" due to its ability to disclose their location and integrate that information into its responses, even when users have not shared their location publicly.

A quick search on Twitter for “My AI” easily reveals widespread dissatisfaction with the latest addition of AI. Lord Duckman’s response sums up the perspective of many users: “nobody likes this ‘feature.’ ”

A Warning for Other AI Companies

The negative reaction to My AI serves as an early warning for companies such as Meta and Twitter, both of which have ambitious AI objectives. Meta, which has shifted its focus from a VR metaverse to generative AI technologies, might encounter similar resistance to new AI features in Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Elon Musk, who recently hired top AI scientists and reportedly purchased 10,000 GPUs to develop a ChatGPT competitor, may also find users less enthusiastic about his vision for X, which he has dubbed an "Everything App."

Ultimately, users may prefer their messaging apps to fulfill their primary function—communication with friends—without additional features. As one user succinctly put it, "There's no reason Snap needs an AI."

Read More: ChatGPT