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Perplexity will start placing ads through brand-sponsored queries in AI Chat

Perplexity, the artificial intelligence generative search engine taking on Google, will soon use ads in a new way. Specifically, it plans to implement brand-sponsored queries as suggested follow-up questions for ongoing AI conversations, according to an AdWeek report published Monday.

When you ask a question in Perplexity, it sometimes suggests additional questions you can ask the AI ​​chatbot. These related questions account for 40% of Perplexity queries, according to AdWeek. Perplexity said this would allow brands to influence these related questions, potentially steering users towards specific products. The AI ​​engine will launch sponsored query suggestions in the “next quarters.”

Perplexity did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Perplexity’s decision to integrate ads comes as the rest of the generative AI industry uses the “freemium” model. Players like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Microsoft’s Copilot, and Anthropic’s Claude all offer a free version of their AI but allow users to use a more advanced version for a monthly cost. Like these companies, Perplexity also offers a paid version. Currently, running AI chatbots is expensive, as each query can cost 10 times more than a traditional Google search. Last year, OpenAI was paying $700,000 per day, according to research firm SemiAnalysis. Although the cost of generative AI is expected to decrease over time as technologies and systems improve, companies will need to find ways to monetize free queries to future-proof things.

Perplexity bills itself as an “answer engine” and works like a cross between ChatGPT and Google. Its investors include Jeff Bezos and former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and is valued at $522 million as of January. Perplexity most closely resembles Microsoft Copilot, integrating both AI chat and search links, as well as images. Unlike ChatGPT, Perplexity has a connection to the open Internet and will be linked to sources. It also links to Reddit posts, a site now commonly found in Google searches.

Perplexity itself says it’s a good idea to double-check the source information you get from its answers engine, and the possible introduction of advertising will mean another filter users will have to apply on answers.

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