Perplexity Will Begin Placing Ads via Brand-Sponsored Queries in AI Chat


Perplexity, the generative AI search engine that’s taking on Google, will soon use ads in a novel way. Specifically, it plans to implement brand-sponsored queries as follow-up suggested questions to ongoing AI conversations, according to a report from AdWeek on Monday. 

When asking a question in Perplexity, it’ll sometimes suggest additional questions you can ask the AI chatbot. These related questions account for 40% of Perplexity’s queries, according to AdWeek. Perplexity said it will let brands influence these related questions, potentially steering users toward specific products. The AI engine will launch suggested sponsored queries in the “upcoming quarters.”

Perplexity didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Perplexity’s move to integrate ads comes as the rest of the generative AI industry is using the “freemium” model. Players like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Microsoft’s Copilot and Anthropic’s Claude all offer a free version of their AIs but allow people to use a more advanced version for a monthly cost. Like those companies, Perplexity also offers a paid version. Running AI chatbots at the moment 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. While the cost of generative AI should go down over time as technologies and systems improve, companies will need to find ways to monetize free queries to keep things sustainable.

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 feels most similar to Microsoft Copilot, integrating both AI chat and search links, along with images. Unlike ChatGPT, Perplexity has a connection to the open internet and will link to sources. It also links to Reddit posts, a site that’s now being commonly called upon in Google searches. 

Perplexity itself says it’s a good idea to double-check sources information you get from its answer engine, and the eventual introduction of advertising will mean another filter that users will need to put over answers.





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