An app called Poe now allows users to create their own chatbot using prompts in combination with an existing bot, such as ChatGPT, as a base. First publicly launched in February, Poe is the latest product from the Q&A site Quora, which has long provided web searchers with answers to the most Googled questions. With chatbots potentially enabling the future of web search and Q&A, the company chose to expand into this market by allowing consumers to play with the latest AI technologies from companies like OpenAI and Anthropic through a simple mobile interface.
Initially, Poe debuted support for a handful of general knowledge chatbots, including Sage and Dragonfly, powered by OpenAI technology, and Claude, powered by Anthropic. Last month, Poe rolled out subscriptions that allow users to pay to access the more powerful bots based on new language models, including OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Anthropic’s Claude+. Poe is also the only consumer-facing Internet product with access to Claude or Claude+, the company noted at the time.
Now Poe allows users to create their own bots using prompts, i.e. ways to direct a chatbot to perform very specific tasks.
Today, people use prompts to send bots to output text in the style of a favorite author, in a particular format, or targeting a particular audience, among other things. Essentially, the idea is that better prompts lead to better results. This has led to the creation of a new prompt engineering creator class. Online communities have also sprung up to allow people to share their quick ideas with each other.
With Poe’s new position, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo explained a recent Twitter thread, users can create their own bots based on Claude or ChatGPT. Once created, the bot has its own unique URL (poe.com/botname) which the bot opens directly in Poe. D’Angelo also shared some fun bots the company created to demonstrate the new feature, including a “talk like a pirate bot” at poe.com/PirateBot, a Japanese language teacher, a bot that converts your messages into emoji at poe. com/emojis, and a bot that gently roasts you at poe.com/RoastMaster.
“We’ve seen a lot of great experimentation with prompting on LLMs, both within the community on Poe and across the web, and it’s amazing how much value prompting can unlock from language models,” D’Angelo wrote. “We hope this new feature can help those who are talented share their skills with the rest of the world and provide simple interfaces for everyone to get the most out of AI,” he said.
Users can access the bots through Poe’s iOS or Android app or through the web interface. When you find a bot you like, you can click a button to follow the bot so you can easily return to it later. The bot will then appear in Poe’s sidebar bot list alongside common bots like Sage, Claude, and others. Quora plans to cover all costs associated with using this feature for now, including the LLM fees, which Quora says could become expensive as bots become popular.
In the future, the plan is to provide bot makers with feedback on how people are using their bot so they can make improvements. Later on, the company also plans to develop an API that will allow anyone to host a bot from a server they operate, enabling even more complex bots – and also a potential new business for Quora.
Some users have already announced in the Twitter thread how they used the feature to create bots for both practical purposes, such as planning trips or learning math, and for fun, such as flirting. (Poe’s platform guidelines limit a variety of use cases that could be problematic, such as hate speech, violence, illegal activity, fraud, IP infringement, and others, but it remains to be seen whether any bots will get around its rules.)
Poe isn’t the only mobile app for mobile users. While OpenAI has not launched an official app, dozens of AI chatbots have flooded the App Store claiming to provide ChatGPT access and now the best AI apps are raking in millions of dollars. Microsoft’s Bing and Edge apps also integrated AI technology, made possible through the company’s partnership with OpenAI. Meanwhile, other AI startups, such as Perplexity, have also recently launched their mobile apps.
That said, consumer demand for Poe is going well. To date, the mobile app version of Poe has 1.17 million installs and generated gross sales of $520,000, according to app intelligence agency data.ai. The app is currently ranked #32 in the Productivity category on the App Store.