The landscape of productivity tools is ever-changing, and recently, a surprising development has left some users of ChatGPT, a preferred tool of mine, somewhat bewildered. The ‘Browse with Bing’ feature, which gives ChatGPT internet access, has been mysteriously disappearing for some users.
As an ardent user of ChatGPT, even preferring it over Siri, I was taken aback when I discovered the absence of the ‘Browse with Bing’ feature. This seems to be a widespread issue as numerous ChatGPT Plus subscribers have reported a similar experience, citing an abrupt loss of the feature without any prior notification from OpenAI.
The saga of this feature is intriguing. Launched during the summer, it was promptly deactivated after a week following reports of its misuse to evade paywalls. However, in late September, OpenAI reintroduced the ‘Browse with Bing’ tool as a beta feature. Since October 17th, it has been available to all ChatGPT Plus subscribers.
The present disappearance of the web browsing feature has left users puzzled, primarily because OpenAI has not issued any public statement clarifying the situation. The company had previously been transparent about the reason behind the feature’s initial deactivation in July, causing users to question whether its current absence is intentional or due to a technical glitch.
Interestingly, some Plus users, including myself, still have access to the ‘Browse with Bing’ feature via the ChatGPT mobile app, while its presence in the web version remains elusive. The feature continues to function on my mobile device, and I will update if this changes.
Recent chatter suggests that OpenAI is experimenting with various features such as ‘Browse with Bing’, Advanced Data Analysis, and DALL-E 3 by integrating them into the default mode of GPT-4. Theoretically, this would allow the model to transition seamlessly between functions based on the prompt provided by the user, eliminating the need to manually select an option from the GPT-4 dropdown menu.
However, when I attempted to use the browsing feature through GPT-4’s Default mode, I received a message stating it could not “access external websites directly or view their content.” This suggests that the ‘Browse with Bing’ feature has indeed vanished from my account and wasn’t merely integrated into the Default model for convenience.
Prior to noticing the missing ‘Browse with Bing’ feature, my ChatGPT underwent an update. Whether this disappearance is an intentional move or a bug requiring rectification is yet to be determined. At this time, we await a response from OpenAI support regarding the elusive ‘Browse with Bing’ feature.