The feedback from users of Snapchat’s “My AI” feature is in, and it’s not favorable.

Snapchat’s new AI chatbot, powered by OpenAI’s GPT technology, was launched last week to all users after previously being available only to subscribers. It is now pinned to the top of the app’s Chat tab where users can ask it questions and receive prompt answers. However, since the chatbot was made available to Snapchat’s larger user base, the app has experienced an increase in unfavorable reviews and a rise in social media complaints.

According to statistics from app intelligence company Sensor Tower, Snapchat’s average U.S. App Store rating for the preceding week was 1.67, with 75% of evaluations being one star. Comparatively, the average Snapchat review in the U.S. App Store for Q1 2023 was 3.05, with only 35% of reviews being one-star.

The organization also observed that during the previous week, the number of daily reviews had climbed five times.

Apptopia, a different source of app data, notes a like pattern. According to its study, “AI” was cited 2,973 times in Snapchat’s App Store evaluations over the course of the previous seven days, making it the top term. The word got a “Impact Score” rating of -9.2 from the company. This Impact Score, which goes from -10 to +10, is a weighted index that assesses how a term affects sentiment.

Additionally, according to Apptopia, on April 20, 2023, Snapchat earned about three times as many one-star reviews as usual. That is the day following the announcement of the global rollout of My AI.

Related: Snapchat Brings Chatting And Video Calling To The Web

The number of 1-star ratings is now starting to decline, but they are still significantly more than average.

The outcry against Snapchat’s My AI occurs as the fervor surrounding AI reaches a turning point. Businesses are debating how to incorporate AI into their operations, not if they should.

As dozens of AI chatbot apps flood the app stores and make millions of dollars, adding an AI chatbot to Snap’s social app would have been seen as a wise move. This may be viewed as an indication of increased customer demand for social AI chat experiences.

But My AI, which appears in their app without their knowledge or permission, hasn’t exactly won over many Snapchat users.

The positioning of the chatbot is the source of some worry.

My AI is pinned to the top of users’ Chat feeds inside the app, and unlike other chats, it cannot be unpinned, blocked, or deleted. Users of Snapchat connect often with their pals in this feed; it’s not always a place where they wish to play around with novel features. Additionally, Snapchat already has a significant presence in this feed thanks to its own “Team Snapchat” chats, so in some users’ eyes, it’s effectively doubling the amount of screen real estate it wants for itself.

On social media, it is simple to locate criticisms about the My AI feature. For instance, a quick search for “My AI” on Twitter will turn up countless results. Additionally, users are directly complaining to Snapchat.

Users used the answers to air their complaints after Snap’s Partner Summit event last week when it tweeted about the new chatbot.

Users are completely disparaging the AI bot in the dozens of replies to Snap’s tweet. Instead of being compelled to accept it, they argue that it should only be opt-in or that they should be given the choice to do so. Some users are so irate over this that they’ve even threatened to stop using Snapchat and remove the app entirely.

Many are also disagreeing with the requirement of a Snapchat+ subscription in order to remove the My AI from their Chat stream. Snap’s own literature states that subscribers to Snapchat+ will have early access to future My AI capabilities and will be able to unpin or delete My AI from their Chats.

People are enraged by this because they feel as though they must pay Snapchat for messing up their app by adding an undesired function.

Users find the AI function intrusive, and some even find it creepy.

They are shocked to hear that even if they are not disclosing their position on the Snap Map, Snapchat’s AI is aware of their location and can utilize that knowledge in its responses.

In a sense, the AI bot is bringing to light the extent of private data collection carried out in the background by social media corporations and placing it in front of the user. As it turns out, people may not believe they have given their explicit consent to share their data with the AI, therefore it is not a very strong selling point.

This relates to a broader discussion about AI that is currently taking place as people become more aware of how these AI systems were initially made possible by our own data and the work we put into creating content on the web. Large data sources, including those they have licensed, as well as data that is freely available online and our personal data are used to train modern AIs.

Furthermore, before it was made available to the general public, substantial concerns had already been raised about Snapchat’s My AI.

The Washington Post noted that although the service was exclusive to subscribers, the bot was reacting dangerously. When the user informed the bot that they were 15 years old, the AI offered advice on how to cover up marijuana and alcohol odors at a birthday party. The teen had an essay written for school as well. The article said that the bot answered to a query regarding how to set the mood when having sex for the first time after being informed that the user was 13 years old.

At the time, Snap played down the allegations, claiming that some individuals had attempted to “trick the chatbot into providing responses that do not conform to our guidelines.” It later released new features, including age filters to keep the AI responses more acceptable for younger users, and made a vow to introduce parental controls.

At the time of My AI’s public debut, those parental controls were still unavailable, and Snap provided no information regarding when they might be anticipated.

There were a small number of people that disagreed with the response against My AI despite the numerous concerns.

In a user’s comment to Snapchat’s tweet, “Am I the only one who loves it?,” the question was posed. They only received one reply, which was just “yo.”

Investigating the rise in bad reviews reveals that Snapchat’s app ratings don’t even cover the entire picture.

According to a graphic from Sensor Tower, 5-star reviews have increased recently coupled with 1-star reviews in which consumers expressed dissatisfaction with the My AI feature. That can give the impression that the AI feature is contentious rather than broadly disliked.

However, a closer look at those 5-star reviews reveals that a significant number of them also feature My AI issues. For instance, one says, “Get rid of AI. Otherwise, I will reduce my rating to one star. No one wants AI on Snapchat at all.

The user has given the app five stars despite several other five-star reviews that urge for the AI to be disabled or removed and describe it as “crap” or frightening. It’s unclear whether that’s because of user error, problems with the analysis performed by Sensor Tower, or something else. In any case, based on their actual commentary, several of these “5-star” ratings ought to be viewed as unfavorable reviews or complaints.

Still, the number of complaints is evident when browsing the App Store reviews by “Most Recent.” My AI is mentioned in almost all of the recent evaluations, and the most of them are not favorable.

Snapchat declined to comment on the matter but did point out that when the AI was first being tested, users of Snapchat+ sent close to 2 million messages to it.

Despite claiming to be constantly improving Snapchat’s features in response to user feedback, the business made no commitment to do rid of the AI.

Instead, a Snapchat spokeswoman claimed users were under no obligation to utilize the AI tool if they didn’t want to.


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