Everybody wants to delete Snapchat - should you, too?

Snapchat logo displayed on a phone screen and silhouette of a woman with a phone in the background
(Image credit: Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The AI frenzy has been spreading across the whole tech sector lately, but not without controversy. Now, the ChatGPT bot has landed in Snapchat—and users aren't happy.

Snapchat's "My AI" chatbot has been received with mixed reviews since its launch last week as fans revolted against the ChatGPT-powered feature.

At the same time, the Google search for the term ‘delete Snapchat’ exploded 488% worldwide on April 26. This is over five times more compared to the average of the last three months.

The search history for the term 'Delete Snapchat' worldwide over the last 90 days

Cyber security consultants CloudTech24 analyzed the Google searches of the last three months as the term 'Delete Snapchat' skyrocketed more than five times worldwide compared to prior the update. (Image credit: Google Trends)

Anger against Snapchat's new AI bot boils up

Based on OpenAI's older model rather than the latest ChatGPT-4, Snapchat's AI-powered bot works similarly to tools introduced in popular search engines like Google's Bard or Bing AI. It can answer questions and talk with users, offering them recommendations, advice and more.

Snapchat's intelligent assistant has some peculiarities, too, compared to other iterations. Users can rename the bot as they wish, design its unique avatar and even bring it into conversation with friends. Put it simply, they can make it look more human.

"The 'My AI' feature uses the data that Snapchat collects about each user to make its interactions feel more like a conversation with a friend. Some users, however, view this as a violation of privacy, raising concerns about how their data is being used," said a spokesperson for cyber security consultants CloudTech24, responsible for analyzing the rise in interest for deleting Snapchat's profile.

The new feature has been strongly criticized by users who, without asking for it, are now unable to delete it from the top of their chat feed unless they pay for the premium service.

Some people are also worried about how the chatbot could gather private information like their location.

Snapchat's issues haven't just started now, though. The chatbot has, in fact, managed to accumulate many critics since its launch as an exclusive Snapchat+ feature about a month ago.

Initial commentators were particularly worried for the safety of younger users, who represent the majority of people interacting with the platform. 

In the US, Democratic Senator Michael Bennet expressed his concerns in an open letter citing early reports of teens being exposed to potentially harmful content like tips on how to lie to parents or lose their virginity.

The anger against 'My AI' has been growing as it becomes available as a default feature to all users.

According to research by experts at CloudTech24, searches for ‘how to delete Snapchat account’ have also risen 70% worldwide over the last week, and so too has the popularity of #SnapchatAI, which now counts over 180 million views on TikTok. 

"These findings provide an eye-opening insight into the staggering rise in Snapchat users looking to cancel their account," they said.

Chiara Castro
Senior Staff Writer

Chiara is a multimedia journalist committed to covering stories to help promote the rights and denounce the abuses of the digital side of life—wherever cybersecurity, markets and politics tangle up. She mainly writes news, interviews and analysis on data privacy, online censorship, digital rights, cybercrime, and security software, with a special focus on VPNs, for TechRadar Pro, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. Got a story, tip-off or something tech-interesting to say? Reach out to chiara.castro@futurenet.com