OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the fastest-growing consumer internet app in history with over 100 million users, is piloting a new feature that could turn the AI bot into the next big app store. Dubbed “plugins,” this new feature allows companies to be built inside ChatGPT and grant them exposure to millions of users. Kayak, Klarna, Expedia, OpenTable, Shopify, and Slack are among the 12 brands that OpenAI has invited to create a plugin.
Plugins work like an application programming interface (API) that enables ChatGPT to access parts of a brand’s database, allowing them to be the bot’s “eyes and ears.” Each plugin is clearly branded for users and lives inside a single menu, from which users need to install it before they can use the services.
For example, Kayak’s plugin allows a user to ask ChatGPT to help them book a trip to Los Angeles, integrating information from Kayak’s website and arranging the desired travel. When it’s time to pay, the user will be redirected to the Kayak website with their trip in the cart. Similarly, Klarna’s plugin enables users to ask ChatGPT for product recommendations based on specific parameters.
Plugins offer a way for OpenAI to make ChatGPT more commercially friendly and specific to driving revenue goals. They also allow marketers to tap into ChatGPT’s massive audience reach and to integrate the technology into their businesses. ChatGPT could even automate tasks like staffing or menu writing for clients in the future.
In short, plugins offer a way for companies to leverage their existing databases and to be built inside ChatGPT, granting them exposure to millions of users. OpenAI’s interest in making ChatGPT more commercially friendly is evident, and plugins could be the way forward.