Snapchat hasn’t been this controversial since it removed public best friends lists in 2015.
Last week, the photo messaging app rolled out their chat bot, My AI, to all users. The feature runs on Open AI’s GPT technology and is designed to reply to your messages like a friend. But many users are complaining that the new feature is getting in the way of them chatting with their actual friends.
How to remove Snapchat’s My AI from your Chat feed
My AI is pinned to the top of users’ Chat feed, above even their pinned and recently snapped friends. If you don’t subscribe to Snapchat+ for $3.99 a month, there’s no way to remove My AI from the top of your feed. Techcrunch(opens in a new tab) reported an influx of 1-star reviews of Snapchat after My AI’s launch, indicating that at least a portion of Snapchat’s user base is pretty unhappy with the chat bot.
In a TikTok that’s garnered more than 3.7 million views and 510,000 likes @fishnecks(opens in a new tab) writes, “when my Snapchat AI thinks it has the right to be pinned above my bf.” The caption to the video reads, “PLS HOW DO I GET RID OF IT.” Thousands of comments on the video echo the TikTokker’s frustration. One reads, “the $4 was worth it to unpin.” Another says, “I blocked Team Snapchat from sending me stuff, why would I want this robot???” Others threaten to leave the platform entirely if Snapchat continues to allow only paid users to hide the AI bot.
But it’s not just My AI’s central placement that’s riling up Snapchat users. My AI uses the data that Snapchat collects about each user to make its interactions feel more like a conversation with a friend. For some, that feels like a violation of privacy. Users are especially wary of its access to their location; screenshots of My AI recommending users restaurants near them gained traction on Twitter and TikTok. Snapchat and other social media platforms have collected data about users for years and years, but My AI personifies that data collection, making its knowledge of you eerily obvious.
The chatbot also came under fire(opens in a new tab) one month ago, when it was a Snapchat+ exclusive feature, for providing inappropriate and unsafe responses after being told it was talking to young teenagers. In a statement(opens in a new tab), Snapchat announced that My AI only gave “non conforming” responses to 0.01% of users. It also shared that My AI will be aware of a users’ age going forward and it “worked vigorously to improve its responses to inappropriate Snapchatter requests, regardless of a Snapchatter’s age.”
Despite all the complaints, some users have embraced My AI, calling it their bestie or homie and using it to complete homework assignments. For example, one TikTok(opens in a new tab) with over 10,000 likes reads, “me talking to the new AI bot thing on my snapchat when i’m bored.”
Friend or foe, My AI is all Snapchat users can talk about.