You may have heard about the new innovation from OpenAI, called ChatGPT API. I, at first, didn’t know that it was something else. Because, that was before I become a subscriber to ChatGPT Plus.
But, with further research, I found out that they were similar in some aspects but the implementation shows you that the two versions are made completely for different reasons.
Chat-GPT is an AI Language model made by OpenAI. You probably know this if you are already using it. It has three versions: ChatGPT (A free limited version), ChatGPT Plus (Paid Subscription), and ChatGPT API (Pay for what you use).
Next in the article, you’ll learn about the differences between the Plus and API; I will be comparing their limitations, purposes, pricing structures, and some key features in both systems. Then, later on, I will provide a list of factors to consider—so you can decide which one is right for you.
Now, let’s dive right in, starting with ChatGPT Plus.
The Difference Between ChatGPT Plus and ChatGPT API: “ChatGPT plus” is a subscription plan made specifically for user experience—empowering individuals with the ability to enhance their writing, coding…etc. it only cost $20/month.
“ChatGPT API,” however, is a pay-as-you-go pricing model and is specifically designed for Developers and app creators. It costs $0.02 per 1000 tokens, which according to the company, is about 750 words. But there is a difference between the models in ChatGPT API and this pricing structure is for GPT-3.5 NOT GPT-4, Which depends on multiple variants—explained in detail later in the article.
I. ChatGPT Plus
It is a subscription plan, that gives individuals access to a more enhanced version of the free ChatGPT. I tried both paid and free access, and I can tell that the paid version is far superior, as well as have more features. Not to mention that it gives you entry to the latest AI language model known as “GPT-4”.
The purpose behind offering this plan is to support free worldwide access. For me, paying the $20 for GPT-4 was the right choice, it allows me to better understand the brilliants behind this trained AI, as well as its limitations.
If we took a look at the response from both free and paid ChatGPT models, we will see quite a difference in understanding and the level of detail provided.
I asked the AI to write an outline of an article about “How to make money using AI chatbots.”
The response from GPT-4 and GPT-3.5 as you can clearly see in the Video is far superior compared to the AI Model in the free access. Using the same prompt and the same request completely different response.
A. Key features
As you can see I opened a new account to show you where you can find the upgrade button. When I tried before to update I faced the problem of getting rejected by the system because many people were joining. Likely I saved the payout page and got access to ChatGPT Chatbot plus.
At first, I thought that this is an AI that can write content for me and I don’t have to spend more than 1 hour per article. But I was wrong. It has a limit in all versions Free, Plus, and API. If you want to know them you can jump to the ChatGPT limitations section in this Article Here.
Here we are going to talk about what you’re going to expect after you subscribe to ChatGPT Plus. In exchange for $20/month, you get:
1. Enhanced access to the ChatGPT model
On top of getting a faster and more developed version of GPT-3.5, you’ll be granted access to a more cutting-edge advanced AI Model GPT-4. The model is far superior to any other AI assistance.
My previous example is just a clear demonstration of what a simple answer to providing an article outline will be from all versions.
However, GPT-4 model is more incredible than that. It uses more creativity when writing an essay/article or providing an answer. Also, it understands long-form requests and can properly process more information and complex detail than previous GPT versions.
Unfortunately, you’ll have a limited 25 messages every 3 hours which will limit productivity in large projects (like proofreading a book). However, it can definitely get the job done if you just do small projects (e.g. Essay/Article).
2. Faster response times
In GPT-3.5, you’ll have faster responses in the paid version. But in GPT-4, you’ll have not just limited inputs but also a slower writing speed.
It is kind of understandable since many people are breaking the servers. 90% of the time I like to use the latest model for its clear and precise answers. Especially when I’m writing articles I like the modifications to be more creative and engaging.
Therefore, GPT-3.5 will not be enough for me.
3. Access in High demand & Priority access to new features
It’s been a while since I become a subscriber. The 24/7 access definitely helped. Because before I joined, I was always looking for that perfect time when people are sleeping to use GPT AI. On top of that, you’ll earn entry to new features and updates. One of them was ChatGPT 4.
B. Use cases
There are many use cases for ChatGPT Plus. The most important ones that I personally tried and used—plus It will be more effective to have the subscription plan for, are:
1. Brainstorming and Predictions
The creativity in coming up with different ideas and predictions has made GPT-4 superior, but the differences are not that clear—since it is based on the stored 2021 data. In the following examples, the next images show, that the core ideas are the same. However, the conciseness and creativity in presenting them are what make the difference.
Thus, it strengthens the engineers’ point. GPT-4 Has the same Data as GPT-3.5, but the ability to process and present information has significantly improved compared to the previous releases.
And these are the results from predictions I told the AI to generate for me:
2. Drafting and editing content
The key difference between the articles produced by free and paid plans was mainly speed, creativity, and the ability to stay on topic. For example, let’s ask our lovely AI language model GPT-4 AND GPT-3.5 legacy (Free) to write an article About “Who founded the OpenAI company?”
The Results will shock you.
From the Video You can tell that the article that was conducted using GPT-4 is far more useful and organized than the one from the free plan. Also, keep in mind that I didn’t tell the AI anything in both scenarios only to write an article about “X”.
GPT-3.5 legacy (free) went and gave me a short and quick generic response, but GPT-4 gave me an Outline, a catchy title, bulletin points, a clear conclusion, and a longer easy-to-read well-structured article.
And All that I said is to Write an article about “Who founded the OpenAI company?”
3. Role-playing and answering questions
My favorite one is when GPT-4 plays the role of a job interviewer. This made me think about what the customer support sector is going to look like in the future.
This AI could do this brilliantly. (By the way, even in the free plan you can do this)
Here is just a small demonstration. I asked ChatGPT in both plans to [act as an interviewer who is looking to hire a social media manager for his home appliance company named “BetterCocking.” And only start when I say Hi.]
You can see the real difference between the two models if you used the free plan. The verdict is ChatGPT 4 completely outperforms the legacy version (free).
The questions are more common and robotic in the free plan than in GPT-4.
C. Pricing and subscription options
The amount that you going to spend using ChatGPT Plus is insignificant. A mere $20/month for using one of the most powerful AI language models in the world.
If you used this intelligent tool correctly, you’ll save so much time and effort. Leaving the money that you spent to acquire it looks like pocket change.
II. ChatGPT API
It is a much more customizable version than the chatbot. Because ChatGPT API is made for developers and creators to integrate and enhance their apps and platforms with GPT-3.5 or GPT-4 capabilities.
Note: API stand for Application Programming Interface. Its use is to help set up a contract of service between two applications.
In the Next Video, I showed you how to set up GPT in API for chat mode and use GPT-3.5 turbo instead of Complete mode with text/code DaVinci. Because this is how I use it. If you are a programmer, it’s better to check the documentation for more good setups.
A. Key features
When OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT announced the API released the surge of AI tools skyrocketed. Due to the abilities that GPT has and what it can do to improve and develop other apps and products. Therefore, it is a no-brainer to include this tech in the apps. These are the main three of the many features that GPT API has:
1. Integration with applications, products, or services
Many companies and developers have already jumped on the train of GPT API. Including one of the largest tech companies in the world Microsoft which has been confirmed $10 billion investment, according to Forbes Magazine.
If you are a developer or someone with the knowledge to develop apps and software check the ChatGPT API dedicated page on the OpenAI website.
2. Customization and control over AI responses
In the Playground section, you can see a box with the headline “Your System,” that alone give the best result compared to just using normal GPT. Because in GPT API you can adjust and control the response of the AI.
For example, if you want to write an Article using playground, you’ll have to insert your site information and other aspects of your business, like target audience and purpose just once in the “your system” box. Then write your prompt about—just—the article and what you wanted GPT to write about.
The result will be completely different from just using the chatbot model, or at least you don’t have to remind the AI of your business whenever you want to write an article giving you more time and letting the ai focus more and write from the perspective of your system.
3. Rate limits and usage
The limitation will be the only downside in the GPT API since you are only limited to a max of 2048 tokens per completion—the next video shows what I mean by that.
2048 tokens will affect your total word count in your generating content, which will control how many details you are writing in the “your system” box.
But you can just reduce that number which will reduce the length of the response keeping the specifics of your request the same while you sacrifice the response length.
Reducing the response’s word count doesn’t mean that the AI will give you a shorter response, instead, it will not serve it to you in one go. You have to keep pressing the submit button.
C. Use cases
Right now, the API version currently supports only the GPT-3.5 so far (got-3.5-turbo in chat mode and Davinci in complete mode). However, people have been given early access to the GPT-4 model in ChatGPT API.
It looks like the OpenAI team responsible for ChatGPT is currently super interested in those who already created apps using the old model GPT-3.5, according to their “joining the waiting list form”.
But for now, let’s focus on the activities and use cases of this incredible AI language model. Thus, these are the most useful cases if you are interested in using ChatGPT API:
1. Developing chatbots and virtual assistants
So many virtual assistants and chatbots have already integrated ChatGPT software in their new AI-powered apps, that’s including major AIs like Bing, Bard, and chat sonic.
Using this software has given the rise to a new era and boosted the potential of many apps.
2. Content generation and editing
Even though that GPT is not equipped with the latest data, and can’t access the web either—it is still a pretty good content AI generator and excellent editor. If it was given the right commands and information, of course.
The best thing you can do is to create an AI content generator with the ability to search the web in real-time with ChatGPT capabilities—Like what Microsoft and Google did.
But for individuals who want to create content using API can be beneficial, and more efficient than the chatbot. It is organized and will increase your content quality as well as your productivity.
I used it myself and it is more efficient than the chatbot which whenever you need to create a piece of content, you’ll have to insert and train the AI to write based on your perspective as an expert in a specific field.
3. Data analysis and natural language processing tasks
The best cases that the API has been used for regarding data analysis are sentiment analysis, data extraction, and conversational analytics. In short, GPT is able to analyze text data to understand emotions and the intent behind them—useful for social media.
Also, it can extract the key takeaways from long documents and unstructured text—in order to organize data. Not to mention that it can gather information about user behavior and patterns.
4. Customer support
It can help you to automate responses and have a more human-like response, using AI (GPT). It is perfect if you are planning to have a more efficient way to help your customer—to get their problems and concerns solved.
D. Pricing and subscription options
The pricing structure is a bit different than the subscription plan. According to OpenAI, They charge customers for using their ChatGPT API service $0.002/1000 tokens—Approximately 750 words. However, that’s for GPT-3.5 turbo. For a better explanation, you can look at the following table which will help you understand the pricing of this service:
|Model||Cost/1k Tokens||Cost/1k words||Cost/10k words||Cost/50k words|
|GPT-4 8k MAX||$0.06||0.08||0.8||$4|
|GPT-4 32K Max||$0.12||0.16||1.6||$8|
III. Comparing ChatGPT API and ChatGPT Plus
After I used both products, I can give you generic yet insightful key differences between the two—to help you make up your mind in choosing the right one for you:
The comparison will include target audience, integration, application development, customization, control, then lastly plans and Pricing structure.
|Products||Application development||Customization and control||Plans & Pricing structure||Target Audience|
|ChatGPT Plus||Intended for individual use through the OpenAI platform||Limited customization, primarily focused on user experience||The flat subscription fee, more suitable for individual users||Individuals who want to use GPT to accomplish certain tasks.|
|ChatGPT API||Designed for integration with external applications||Offers more control and customization options||Usage-based pricing, suited for developers and businesses||App/ software developers, and Businesses.|
Keep in Mind: At the moment GPT-4 is only available on the subscription plan only, meaning if you are interested to use GPT-4 in your app, you’ll have to wait—you need to join their waiting list.
What is the Difference between ChatGPT Plus and ChatGPT (Free plan)?
“ChatGPT plus” subscription plan gives you GPT-3.5 which is, an enhanced model of the one that you get when using the software for free. It cost $20/month.
It also has other useful perks like early access features, and 24/7 usage even if the servers were on fire (just joking).
The last verdict of ChatGPT plus vs ChatGPT 3 (free): if you are just using it because you are playing with it, then the free is good enough. But if you’re using it to help with your work or something, then the plus will definitely be worth it.
IV. Choosing the right option for your needs
Now, you have learned everything you need to know about the difference between those two (GPT PLUS and GPT API). And it is time to decide whether the Plus is right for you or ChatGPT API.
To help you with that, these are some factors to consider:
1. Intended use: If you are looking for an example to increase your personal productivity like coding, proofreading, translating, and so on— ChatGPT Plus is perfect for these individual activities. But if your intentions are to use GPT for commercial applications like integration in virtual assistant or content generation software. The API is the best for these kinds of tasks.
2. Budget: Despite having a flat subscription fee, the cost of usage in the API product can be much more cheaper—especially if you are using it occasionally. However, the GPT-4 Model is in the subscription plan. Unless you are one of the luckiest people who got to try ChatGPT API with GPT-4.
But, you’ll have to know what you are doing when it comes to using OpenAI’s Playground if you want to avoid the flat fee. You’ll need some technical knowledge (watching a couple of YouTube videos will help you learn how).
(Note: if you believe it or not many people can’t afford the $20/month due to their circumstances).
3. Technical skills: If you want to build (or integrate) an app using GPT and join the race of AI innovation, then, the ability to integrate and work with APIs will be crucial. Therefore, many people will have to adapt and learn before their business or app became outdated.
Both options are great, it will only be depending on your needs and goals, and whether you are a developer or not will have a significant impact on your decision.
I encourage everyone to use both options since they have some key differences. And even if you are intended to use it for personal use, that doesn’t mean that ChatGPT API is out.
Because, if you look at both options from a budget standpoint (assuming you got early access to GPT-4 API and you intended to use it for personal uses) you’ll need to check if your usage of the software is heavy or lite.
I hope you pick the right one since it is very important financial and time efficient.
Next we will be publishing a master guide on how does chatgpt work and how to use ChatGPT prompts.
- OpenAI Announcement: https://openai.com/blog/introducing-chatgpt-and-whisper-apis
- ChatGPT Website API Documentations: https://platform.openai.com/docs/models/gpt-3
- Microsoft integration GPT in their new Bing AI: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/cognitive-services/openai/how-to/chatgpt?pivots=programming-language-chat-completions
- Forbes—Microsoft investment in OpenAI Confirmed: https://www.forbes.com/sites/qai/2023/01/27/microsoft-confirms-its-10-billion-investment-into-chatgpt-changing-how-microsoft-competes-with-google-apple-and-other-tech-giants/
- Forbes—ChatGPT: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/software/what-is-chatgpt/
- Jump right to the Chatbot: https://chat.openai.com/chat