AI in the Workplace

[Report] Generative AI Top 150: The World's Most Used AI Tools (Feb 2024)

FlexOS.work surveyed Generative AI platforms to reveal which get used most. While ChatGPT reigns supreme, countless AI platforms are used by millions.

As the FlexOS research study "Generative AI at Work" concluded based on a survey amongst knowledge workers, ChatGPT reigns supreme.

Traffic and ranking data in our new report "Generative AI Top 150: The World's Most Used AI Tools" now confirms this: both by web traffic and search rankings (the two proxies for usage FlexOS used for the analysis), ChatGPT wears the crown.

But many other platforms have millions of users – most of which few know of. Have you heard of Brainly? Chai? WriteSonic?

It's time to dive a bit deeper into the world of AI and (further) familiarize ourselves with the biggest hits and hidden gems of Generative AI.

Key insights from "Generative AI Top 150: The World's Most Used AI Tools"

Before we dive into the data, here are our key insights from the study:

1. The Talk about AI is "Writing and Images" but Usage is in AI Chat Buddies and Homework Help. 

Character.AI – a surprise hit bigger than Google's Bard

The Top 10 of AI Tools per our analysis includes some unexpected winners. (For the full Top 150, see here.)

While what we read is often about creating text and images, 3 out of the top 10 applications are in education: Brainly, CourseHero, and TurnItIn. 

And the category of Social & Chatting apps has a huge winner in Character.AI, which takes the 4th place across ALL platforms.  

Some unexpected winners in AI include:

  • Grammarly AI comes in at number 3, provides 30 million people support and coaching on writing effectively. In our previous report, "Generative AI at Work", Grammarly was named as the second-most-used Generative AI tool by US knowledge workers.
  • Character.AI, the breakout hit, is the #4 most used AI tool. It offers over 18 million characters to choose from, alongside tools to practice a new language or interviewing. Users reportedly spend over 2 hours per day on average with these AI buddies.
  • Brainly, the number 6 AI Tool globally, lets students take a photo of an assignment and get expert-verified support. AI education tools like Brainly show how a generation is growing up with AI as a natural part of their daily lives, creating a massive impact on how we work in the future.

The full top 10 looks as follows:

2. AI Tool Usage is Way Higher Than People Expect – Beating Netflix, Pinterest, Twitch.

As measured by data analysis platform Similarweb based on global web traffic tracking, the AI tools in this list generate over 3 billion monthly visits

With 1.67 billion visits, ChatGPT represents over half of this traffic and is already bigger than Netflix, Microsoft, Pinterest, Twitch, and The New York Times.

The other 149 tools generate the remaining half of 1.4 billion visits, with notable leaders including Bing, Grammarly, Character.AI, and Google's Bard.

3. AI Tools Usage is Surprisingly Concentrated Around a Few Winners 

So yes, ChatGPT is the leader by a mile, taking over 50% of the billions of monthly visits.

Add other "General GPTs" like Bing AI, Bard, Claude, and Microsoft Copilot, and it gets even more worrying: together they take 66% of all Generative AI usage.

That's a significant amount of influence and power in just a few major platforms, which could lead to monopoly concerns and stifled innovation.

Even beyond ChatGPT, tools like Grammarly AI and Character.AI dominate their respective categories, with Grammarly commanding a substantial user base in Writing & Editing, and Character.AI in Social & Characters. 

In quite a few of the categories, we see tools that offer little differentiation from these leaders. What do we do with the 30th image generation app that doesn't add much to the core functionality of the big LLMs?

This suggests a potential for consolidation in the AI market where smaller platforms may need to merge or be acquired to compete effectively.

4. There's an AI for Everything – 60+ AI Platforms With Over 1 Million Monthly Visits Cover All Needs

From architects (Prome AI) to English learners (ELSA) and from video creators (InVideo, RunwayML) to singles looking for an AI girlfriend (Candy AI), millions of people are finding an AI platform that works for their particular needs. 

Prome AI for Architects
Prome AI for Architects

Other AI platforms represented in the Top 150 can already:

  • Generate video and animation from text, including "deepfakes"
  • Produce audio voice clones
  • Take meetings on your behalf
  • Produce podcasts
  • Create social content
  • Organize your workday
  • Train employees
  • Create logos
  • Answer customer questions
  • Analyze data 

In total, 62 out of 150 platforms in the Top 150 have over 1 million estimated monthly visits.

5. A New Generation is Growing Up With AI – Employers, Take Note

The heavy adoption of Top 50 tools like Brainly and Coursehero (Homework Help) alongside Chat Buddies on Character.AI, which is disproportionately visited by the youngest measured visitor group, paints us a picture about the workplace of future.

Getting highly personalized help when you're dealing with a school assignment warms you up for AI to be alongside you in the workplace. 

Many leading Learning & Development platforms are already investing in this technology to help employees, and startups like Kona are building AI coaching tools for managers.

The ease with which younger generations confide in AI chat buddies, for on average two hours per day (!), shows how in the future, we could easily see AI team members fluently integrated and managed alongside human ones.

New to AI? Check out our detailed guide about AI in the Workplace.

What Do People Use AI For Most? The Top 5 Categories of AI Usage

Arranging the world's most used Generative AI tools into categories, a fascinating picture emerges.

First, there is the sheer size of ChatGPT and the other main AIs: Bard, Bing AI, Copilot, and Claude. Together, they account for 66% of all estimated Generative AI usage.

If we take ChatGPT and the likes out, we can see that in order of popularity, people use Generative AI for:

  • Writing & Editing: From emails to essays, people are clearly into the habit of writing with the help of ChatGPT, alongside specialized tools like Grammarly AI (which truly stands out even in the overall Top 150), Simplified AI (which is often used by marketing teams), and Copy.AI (also targeting marketing roles recently.) Additionally, we see that people are both trying to avoid being spotted using AI by using 'rewriting' tools like ZeroGPT, although these tools are used by the other side to detect AI.
  • Education: Students and teachers alike are clearly seeing the power of AI, and you'd wonder why we don't see more workplace applications so high up in the list. Either way, whether it's creating quizzes from lesson material with tools like Magicschool or getting homework help from Brainly and Coursehero, AI has already changed how we learn and teach considerably.
  • Social & Characters: During what governments call a "loneliness epidemic," and following our lock-down days of COVID-19, it's no wonder that chat-based AI applications like Character.ai and Chai are high on the list and collectively are on the biggest categories of AI tools. Hopefully these tools do what some founders have claimed – to help us be more social in the real world by creating safe spaces to practice communicating.
  • Research: Whether Google is shaking in its boots yet or not, there's an increase in usage of AI-powered research tools like Perplexity.ai – which blends GPT-like conversational answers and real links to real sources (quite unlike the hallucinating GPTs), ChatPDF - which lets you... chat with PDFs, and Consensus - an AI-powered research tool for academic papers, to sound even smarter than you already are.
  • Image Generator: Just like writing and editing, this is a use case we saw in our Generative AI at Work study, and comes as no surprise. Tools like DeepAI, Midjourney, and Canva's highly popular AI Image Generator are complemented with more specific use cases like Prome AI, which lets Interior Desigers and Architects turn sketches into full-blown renderings.

Without ChatGPT, Bing AI, Bard, Claude, and Microsoft Copilot, this is how the top AI categories break down:

Most-Used AI Tools by Category

Let's take a look at AI tools per category, in order of the top categories above.

#1. General GPT Tools

ChatGPT - World's Leading Generative AI Tool
ChatGPT - World's Leading Generative AI Tool

Probably as no surprise, ChatGPT takes the cake in the category of General GPT Tools. 

When people learn how to use AI, they often start with ChatGPT or one of its competitors – and that shows.

The category breaks down as follows:

  1. ChatGPT (Overall Top 150 Rank: 1): 76% (of the category)
  2. Bing AI (2): 16%
  3. Bard (5): 7%
  4. Claude (27): 1%
  5. Microsoft Copilot (46): 0%

The huge lead of ChatGPT, whose technology also underpins many tools in this top 150, could cause concerns about a monopoly in AI. As AI will impact much of how we live, work, and even think, a de facto OpenAI monopoly isn't without risks.

And while OpenAI was founded with the intention to guide AI into this world in a way that benefits humanity, after the Sam Altman saga, things aren't looking so saintly anymore.

Regulators, government bodies, and the competition will righteously all be looking at how ChatGPT's market share develops over the next months and years.

New to AI? Check out our detailed guide on How to Use AI.

#2. Writing & Editing

Grammarly – The Leading AI Writing Tool
Grammarly – The Leading AI Writing Tool

One of the most popular use cases for knowledge workers, as we previously captured in the Generative AI at Work study, Writing and Editing is still in the lead when it comes to using AI.

Tools like Copy.AI and Grammarly are amongst our favorite AI websites, and the public agrees.

Especially Grammarly stands out as a huge hit, leading this category by a long distance, while also being the #4 of the overall Top 150.

The service commands almost 40 million monthly online users, not even counting all the usage as a Chrome plugin and other integrations.

Grammarly has become such a no-brainer, can't-live-without part of people's daily work lives that these numbers are understandable but incredibly impressive.

The other tools in the Writing and Editing category are:

  1. Grammarly AI (Overall Top 150 Rank: 3): 71% (of the category)
  2. Simplified AI (16): 6%
  3. ZeroGPT (Rewriter & Detector) (24): 4%
  4. Copy.AI (32): 3%
  5. WriteSonic (33): 3%
  6. Undetectable AI (Rewriter) (36): 3%
  7. Wordtune (39): 3%
  8. Jasper.ai (42): 2%
  9. Rytr.me (53): 1%
  10. Shortly (92): 0%

Besides Grammarly, which not only corrects your writing in real-time but also coaches you to become a better writer over time, the platforms in this category roughly break down into two buckets:

  • Prompt-to-text: You write a short prompt, and the tool generates longer copy, from a social post caption to an essay, for you.
  • AI rewriters & detectors: Do what the name implies. It rewrites AI-created copy to sound less like AI. But, saliently, the same companies often also offer AI detector tools for 'the other side.'

Some of these tools are targeted towards marketers (Copy.AI, Anyword), some are more generic, while others focus on students – the AI rewriters clearly included.

Want to explore more essential AI tools for your job? Check our guide with the best  AI websites for work.

#3. Education

Brainly Generative AI
Brainly, the leading Education AI

From English speaking coach ELSA to getting homework help from Brainly, this is one of the categories that stood out to us.

Not only is education the number 3 overall category in AI tools, the tools people use within the categories are likely unknown to many working professionals. 

However, they shouldn't be as we could see how many of these platforms would work very well in the workplace too.

In the top AI Education tools, we find:

  1. Brainly (Homework Help) (6): 42%
  2. CourseHero (Tutoring) (7):36%
  3. TurnItIn (AI Detection) (9): 17%
  4. ELSA (English Coach) (29): 5%
  5. MagicSchool (Teacher Help) (95): 1%
  6. Caktus (Student Tools) (90): 0%

It's incredibly that three education tools are in the global Top 150 of Generative AI tools. So let's look at these in a bit more detail:

  • Brainly is a "knowledge-sharing community where hundreds of millions of students and experts put their heads together to crack their toughest homework." You scan your homework, and AI gives advice. If only we had this when we grew up – I could see this benefitting many, especially those who otherwise wouldn't have asked for help.
  • CourseHero has 30 million course-specific study materials that is uses to fuel an AI solve students' questions from any website. It also summarizes helps with study questions from YouTube videos, which it then links to millions of crowdsourced resources on Course Hero for specific courses and exams. (Yes, some consider this cheating – but what kind of world are we studying for!)
  • TurnItIn probably profits from both platforms above, at it helps teachers and schools with detecting AI in submitted homework. (Although they brand it as, in the biggest euphemism we've ever heard or seen, "Empower students to do their best, original work.")

The remaining platforms in the category are also remarkable.

ELSA coaches you on your English by analyzing your voice, including your presentation abilities. This is huge for the many trying to learn English as a second or third language. MagicSchool helps teachers prepare lesson plans, create quizzes, and check homework. Caktus is helping out on the other site, with wrapping ChatGPT into practical use cases for students.

In short, this category is intriguing and exciting, and the workplace should take note – especially L&D departments!

#4. Social & Characters

Character.AI – The most popular AI Chat Site

The 4th biggest category is a collection of websites and tools where you can create virtual personas and talk with them.

Just like in the General GPT and Writing categories, there's one big winner amongst the 'chat with me' AI platforms, and it's Character.AI.

This platform, from ex-Googlers Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas, was only founded in 2021, but already brings in hundreds of millions of users per month, making it the #4 largest Generative AI platform in the world.

Those users can choose one of 18 million chat 'characters', from Socrates to a K-Pop Idol, or create their own. The platform is so engaging that users often spend hours per day on it.

The full category includes:

  1. Character.AI (#4 in the total Top 150): 89% (of the category's traffic)
  2. AI Chatting (38): 5%
  3. Chai (61): 1%
  4. Candy AI (64): 2%
  5. Anima (74): 1%
  6. ChatFAI (76): 1%
  7. Replika (77): 1%
  8. ora.ai (86): 0%
  9. Romantic AI (99): 0%
  10. DreamTavern (101): 0%

We found most of these similar to Character.AI, sometimes a bit spicier, some a bit more towards the anime-side, and some more outspokenly focused on creating virtual boyfriends and girlfriends. (And yes, some that blend all those qualities together.)

Replika deserves a shout-out for being at this a lot longer than most, since 2017. Its founder said to be targeting the loneliness challenge and social anxiety specifically, and more recently removed once-available 'intimate' characters.

If you're not familiar yet with this category, give Character.AI a try – but don't forget to keep connecting with humans, too!

#5. Image Generation

Midjourney
Midjourney

Towards the end of the most popular categories of Generative AI tools, we find image generation.

By its nature, image generation is one of the most impressive Gen AI applications, as we've all by now seen anything from a fake Pope in a puffer coat to AI-generated Cyberpunk visuals.

But in the day-to-day of work and life, it's less used than must-haves like writing, homework, and chatting to virtual partners, it seems.

With one tool in the top 10, and a few directly outside of it, these are the most used AI image generators:

  1. DeepAI (10): 19% (of the category's traffic)
  2. Midjourney (12): 16%
  3. Canva Image Generator (13): 16%
  4. Looka (18): 14%
  5. Adobe Firefly (19): 10%
  6. Hotpot (21): 9%
  7. NightCafe (25): 7%
  8. Soulgen (55): 5%
  9. Brandmark (56): 1%
  10. Artflow (70): 1%

Besides finding image generators a bit lower on the list of AI applications than we expected (but again, keep in mind the unscientific methodology), it's noteworthy that the traffic in this category is divided by a large number of tools.

There is no Character.AI, ChatGPT, or Grammarly here that sweeps up all the usage.

Instead, tools like DeepAI, Midjourney, and Canva all battle it our in relatively similar percentages of the category's traffic.

Beyond some of these very impressive tools however, it seems to be pretty much a sea of sameness, with look-a-like takes on text-to-image, perhaps speaking to more specific audiences or use cases, or simply a matter of better online marketing.

Top 150 Most Used Generative AI Platforms

So, besides some of these category leaders, who exactly are amongst the top 150 biggest AI platforms in the world?

From ChatGPT to AI Presentations and AI boyfriends, here is the full top 150, fifty at a time:

If we missed you or your numbers don't seem quite right, please contact us.

About the Research Methodology

To create this overview, we reviewed over 200 AI tools referenced in news, online directories, and lists.

We focused on consumer and individual contributor usage, which means that huge tools that millions use, but are administered by a few (like most HR tech) are lower in the ranking.

We may have overseen some tools but believe this is a comprehensive selection, and invite companies we've overseen to submit their listing for our next survey.

We excluded tools that existed before Generative AI unless they were significantly transformed.

Where possible, we used the 'app' version of the website.

Whenever there were multiple use cases for a platform, besides general GPTs, we listed it under its apparent most-used case, analyzed from search data or sub-URL popularity.

We excluded websites that are primarily indexes of AI tools and not providing their own, well-used AI tools.

For some tools, like Bing and Adobe Firefly, it wasn't possible to get a SimilarWeb data ranking, in which case we calculated an estimate SimilarWeb traffic amount from the ratio of Ahrefs vs Similarweb traffic of the leader in the relevant category.

Usage estimation: to estimate usage, which most of these tools don't report, we took the average relative ranking on Similarweb and Ahrefs Organic Search Traffic as proxy indicators for usage.

  • For Similarweb, we took the average monthly visits of the 3 months prior to polling date.
  • For Ahrefs SEO Traffic, we took the 30 day-organic search volume on the URL or product URLPolled on 28 and 29 January 2024.

This is very much an imperfect view into the popularity of AI tools, driven by our curiosity. For some web tools, the proxies we've taken for usage could be solid, as web traffic and search dominance likely reflects how often people use a tool like Character.AI which all takes place on the website.

For others, like software you can download (Descript, Microsoft Copilot) and tools that mostly get used through plugins (Grammarly) or apps (Chai, Adobe Firefly, this is only a tertiary indication of potential popularity.

In future months, if the appetite is there for it, we'd love to include real usage numbers, as reported by these platforms, to create better rankings.

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