Poe, an app developed by Quora, now allows users to create their own chatbots using prompts combined with existing bots like ChatGPT as the base. Launched publicly in February, Poe is the latest product from Quora, a popular Q&A site known for providing answers to frequently Googled questions. As chatbots become increasingly important in the future of web search and Q&A, Quora has expanded into this market by enabling consumers to experiment with AI technologies from companies like OpenAI and Anthropic through a simple mobile interface.
Initially, Poe featured a few general knowledge chatbots powered by OpenAI and Anthropic technology, including Sage, Dragonfly, and Claude. Last month, Poe introduced subscriptions that allow users to access more powerful bots based on new language models, such as GPT-4 from OpenAI and Claude+ from Anthropic. Poe is also the only consumer-facing internet product with access to either Claude or Claude+, as noted by the company.
With the latest update, Poe now allows users to create their own bots using prompts, which are specific ways of directing a chatbot to perform tasks. Prompts are being used to generate text in the style of a favorite author, in a particular format, or aimed at a specific audience, among other things. Better prompts are believed to drive better outputs, leading to the emergence of a new creator class within the field of prompt engineering. Online communities have also sprung up to facilitate the sharing of prompt ideas among users.
Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo explained in a recent Twitter thread that with Poe’s new feature, users can create their own bots based on either Claude or ChatGPT. Once a bot is created, it will have its own unique URL (e.g., poe.com/botname) that opens the bot directly in Poe. D’Angelo also shared examples of fun bots created by the company to demonstrate the new feature, such as a “talk like a pirate bot” at poe.com/PirateBot, a Japanese language tutor, a bot that turns messages into emojis at poe.com/emojis, and a bot that mildly roasts users at poe.com/RoastMaster.
Users can access the bots via Poe’s iOS or Android app, or through its web interface. When users find a bot they like, they can click a button to follow the bot for easy access later. The bot will then appear in Poe’s sidebar bot list alongside general-purpose bots like Sage and Claude. Quora plans to cover all the costs associated with operating this feature, including the fees for language models, for now, although it acknowledges that costs could become significant if any bots become popular.
In the future, Quora plans to provide bot creators with feedback on how people are using their bots so they can iterate on improvements. The company also has plans to develop an API that would allow anyone to host a bot from a server they operate, potentially opening up opportunities for more complex bots and a new business avenue for Quora.
Already, some users have announced on Twitter how they have used Poe’s new feature to create bots for practical purposes like trip planning or learning math, as well as for fun activities like flirting. Poe’s platform guidelines, however, restrict certain use cases that could be problematic, such as hate speech, violence, illegal activities, fraud, and IP infringement, among others. It remains to be seen if any bots will skirt these rules.
While Poe is not the only AI chatbot app available, with other apps claiming to offer access to ChatGPT, it has gained significant consumer demand. The mobile app version of Poe has been installed over 1.17 million times and has generated $520,000 in gross revenue, according to data from app intelligence firm data.ai. Currently, Poe is ranked No. 32 in the Productivity category on the App Store.