OpenAI’s app store for AI, the GPT Store, will not launch this year as previously announced, but rather on an unspecified date in early 2024, the company said. The delay is almost certainly due to the leadership shakeup that occurred in November, just after the initial announcement.
The news was first reported by Axios, which obtained the memo sent to users and developers. It read in part: “we are now planning to launch the GPT Store early next year. While we had expected to release it this month, a few unexpected things have been keeping us busy!” It also detailed some upcoming improvements to the new feature, like a better configuration interface and debug messages.
I have contacted OpenAI and others for further information and will update if they respond.
The launch of the store this month raised eyebrows when it was officially announced at OpenAI’s Dev Day conference in November. Though there was a working mockup of the store itself and a few of the fine-tuned models called GPTs available to inspect, there were a lot of unanswered questions.
In a Q&A with briefly dethroned CEO Sam Altman and CTO Mira Murati, I asked what the company’s plan was for the store as far as charging customers and paying developers. Their answer was, essentially, “we’ll see.”
Given how loose the launch plan was, and that a full week of work at the least was likely lost to the brief but intense battle of board versus CEO, the delay is not much of a surprise. With winter holidays approaching, the idea of shipping a major product under duress while simultaneously navigating a new board and other priorities was probably a non-starter.
For OpenAI customers, GPTs can still be made and shared with others directly, but they will not be publicly listed or able to take part in any revenue-sharing scheme (if OpenAI decides how to implement one) until the store formally launches.