An app called Poe will now let users make their own chatbot using prompts combined with an existing bot, like ChatGPT, as the base. First launched publicly 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 now potentially powering 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 via a simple mobile interface.
Initially, Poe debuted with 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 GPT-4 from OpenAI and Claude+ from Anthropic. Poe is also the only consumer-facing internet product with access to either Claude or Claude+, the company noted at the time.
Now, Poe will offer the ability for users to create their own bots using prompts — that is, ways of directing a chatbot to perform highly specific tasks.
Today, people are using prompts to direct bots to output text in the style of a favorite author, in a particular format or aimed at a certain audience, among other things. Essentially, the idea is that better prompts drive better outputs. This has led to the creation of a new creator class within the field of prompt engineering. Online communities have also sprung up to enable people to share their prompt ideas with one another.
With Poe’s new feature, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo explained in a recent Twitter thread, users can make their own bots based on either Claude or ChatGPT. Once created, the bot will have its own unique URL (poe.com/botname) which will open the bot directly in Poe. D’Angelo also shared a few fun bots the company created to demonstrate the new feature, including a “talk like a pirate bot” at poe.com/PirateBot, a Japanese language tutor, a bot that turns your messages into emoji at poe.com/emojis and a bot that mildly roasts you at poe.com/RoastMaster.
“We’ve seen a lot of great experimentation with prompts on LLMs both among the community on Poe and across the internet, and it’s amazing how much value prompting can unlock from language models,” D’Angelo wrote. “We hope this new feature can help people who are talented at prompting share their ability with the rest of the world, and provide simple interfaces for everyone to get the most out of AI,” he said.
Users will be able to access the bots via Poe’s iOS app or Android app on the mobile web or via its desktop 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 general-purpose bots like Sage, Claude and others. Quora plans to cover all the costs involved with operating this feature for the time being, including the LLM fees, which it notes could get to be expensive if any bots become popular.
In the future, the plan is to offer bot creators feedback about how people are using their bot so they can iterate on improvement. Later on, the company also plans to develop an API that would allow anyone to host a bot from a server they operate, which would allow for even more complex bots — and a potential new business for Quora, as well.
Already, some users announced within the Twitter thread how they used the feature to make bots for both practical purposes, like trip planning or learning math, as well as for fun, like flirting. (Poe’s platform guidelines restrict a variety of use cases that could be problematic, like hate speech, violence, illegal activities, fraud, IP infringement and others, but it remains to be seen if any bots will skirt its rules.)
Poe is not the only mobile app catering to mobile users. Though OpenAI hasn’t launched an official app, dozens of AI chatbots flooded the App Store claiming to offer ChatGPT access, and now the top AI apps are pulling 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, like Perplexity, have recently launched their mobile apps, too.
That said, consumer demand for Poe has been going well. To date, the mobile app version of Poe has 1.17 million installs and has generated $520,000 in gross revenue, according to app intelligence firm data.ai. The app is currently ranked No. 32 in the Productivity category on the App Store.