Snap Inc.’s My AI Feature is Not the Best Friend They Thought it Would Be

Sierra Dowd

Sierra Dowd

Since the debut of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, we've seen many experimental chatbots emerge using their technology. However, one of those chatbots in particular has been a very hot topic of conversation: Snapchat's My AI.

Initially, it was launched in February and was exclusive to Snapchat Plus subscribers. Recently, Snapchat made My AI available to all Snapchat users, along with several other updates such as location sharing and stories.

Since making the feature available to all user’s mid-April, there has been an uproar of feedback. 

Having heard the buzz and seeing the avalanche of user feedback flooding social media, we decided to investigate for ourselves. Here's what we discovered…

Users cannot remove My AI from their chat feed, unless they’re a Snapchat+ subscriber

Of all the chatter, the biggest complaint taking up 33% of feedback is users’ inability to remove or block the feature without paying for Snapchat Plus.

Currently, My AI occupies valuable space at the top of users' chat screens -one of the app's most frequently used features. The placement and integration of My AI makes it appear as if you're conversing with an actual Snapchat friend, but in reality, you're chatting with the AI assistant.

Snapchatters have continued to express their frustration in both app store reviews and social media platforms. It's evident they desire the option to remove or relocate My AI without having to pay the $3.99 Snapchat Plus subscription fee.

While some user's are offering solutions:

“It would be one thing to implement My AI but to not be able to get rid of this stupid thing without paying for the app is ridiculous. Yes I don’t have to interact with it but you should at least make an option for free people to not even see it if they don’t want to. It’s annoying that it’s right on the top of the page for no reason.”

Others are threatening to delete the app if it’s not resolved soon:

“Give us the option to remove the AI. The fact that you currently have to pay for snapchat+ to remove it is super shady. Will delete the app soon if not resolved.”

Group feedback card with anecdotes addressing the paywall from Unwrap's Snapchat analysis

4% of users are worried about their privacy being compromised

Parents of young snapchatters and adult users alike are worried about the data My AI is collecting. Data published in Snapchat's self-service advertising tools in January 2023 indicated that while 18-24 year old’s make up the majority of users, there are still 123.6 million users aged 13-17 using the app globally.   

Users can personalize the chatbot by assigning a custom name, designing a unique Bitmoji avatar, and incorporating it into their conversations with friends. Essentially, making it appear as any friend would in your chat feed.

Understandably parents are concerned about what kind of information their children will gain access to through the chatbot, in addition to the same concern adult user’s are sharing around the level of privacy as it pertains to their location, cameras, and private conversations. 

On Snapchat’s support hub it reads:

“My AI uses Snapchat’s knowledge of your location and the places around you to provide useful place recommendations to you when chatting with My AI.

So if you happen to share your location with Snapchat and ask My AI, "What are good Italian restaurants near me?," it can return suggestions that are both delicious and just a short walk or bike ride away!” 

While some users may find this helpful, others say it makes them feel unsafe.

“I love using Snapchat but with the recent release of My AI I don’t feel safe. I really think you should let us remove the AI if we want to.” 

These anecdotes offer a great opportunity to Snapchat’s product team to ideate features that address these concerns.

Group feedback card with anecdotes addressing privacy concerns from Unwrap's snapchat analysis
Group feedback card with anecdotes addressing location access concerns from Unwrap's snapchat analysis

90% of feedback the week of launch was negative

In the chart below you can see the clear spike in negative sentiment upon making the feature available to all users. 

One user expresses their frustration in detail:

“Snapchat is great in so many ways but its leaders have decided we need to be force fed an AI chat bot that we can’t get rid of. When you ask the bot how to get rid of it, it gives you instructions that don’t work any more. This should not be a required part of using the app to see their bot all day every day.”
Sentiment chart for My AI from Unwrap's Snapchat analysis

Despite the uproar, My AI still has a lot of potential

For the most part, the public has enthusiastically engaged with ChatGPT, discovering numerous means to integrate its technology into their operations and systems, ultimately enhancing their products and jobs. 

Similarly, while off to a rockier start, My AI has the potential to enhance Snapchat users’ experience. The chatbot has a diverse range of capabilities, including answering trivia questions and providing purchase recommendations, suggesting travel destinations, and more. 

In fact, ScreenRant recently wrote about five cool things you can do with My AI.

Overall, it sounds like users just want the choice in how and when they engage with the chatbot so they can discover the benefits, on their time.

Snap, whenever you’re ready, Unwrap is here

Similar to other modern chatbots, it's likely that Snap Inc. is introducing My AI early, despite potential issues, to obtain user feedback and make swift improvements. 

Nevertheless, the primary concern is whether the feature will cause irreparable harm to the user base and prompt them to migrate to competing apps such as TikTok. 

That’s why tools such as Unwrap are invaluable in assisting companies to quickly analyze user feedback, enabling them to make quick improvements to avoid any impact on user retention.

Now as a former journalism major, I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t ask My AI how it feels about all of this. Here’s what it had to say:

Informal interview with My AI

In the words of My AI, sometimes things don’t go as planned. That’s why we make it so easy to listen to your users, so you can quickly learn how new features are performing, while keeping a pulse on your users’ top pain points, bugs that may be costing you money, and more. 

Unwrap delivers the voice of your user on a silver platter so you can improve customer satisfaction swiftly.

Snap, whenever you’re ready, we’re here.

Sierra Dowd

Sierra is an award-winning marketer with an impressive 13 years of experience developing and marketing products for the tech, media, and beauty industries. As Head of Demand Generation at Unwrap, she is an integral part of driving business growth. Previously, Sierra founded SVP House, a marketing and communications consulting agency based in LA, successfully spearheading go-to-market and product-led growth strategies for tech and eCommerce startups to mid-size companies. Prior to that, she served as Director of eCommerce Partnerships at Beautycon.

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