New information from SimilarWeb reveals that ChatGPT's ascent is already having an impact on perennial developer favourite Stack Overflow to some level, despite critics' ongoing doubts about its capacity to produce code fragments for users to change and utilize.
In contrast to ChatGPT, which offers techies a public forum to discuss and vote on common coding issues, Stack Overflow visitors have been progressively falling over the past few months, according to traffic statistics released by the web analytics business.
ChatGPT vs Stack Overflow: What do the numbers say?
According to a year-over-year review, since January 2022, the overall traffic to stackoverflow.com, which Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky founded 14 years ago, has been declining by an average of 6% every month.
To reach 258 million in March, it was down by over 14% YoY.
ChatGPT, which debuted in November 2022, has had tremendous growth. In March, it received 1.6 billion visitors, and in the first part of April, it received an additional 920.7 million.
SimilarWeb also examined how Stack Overflow compares to GitHub, a peer that uses Copilot, a service built on top of the same OpenAI LLM as ChatGPT that provides suggestions for entire lines of code inside development environments like Microsoft Visual Studio, given that ChatGPT is aimed at a wider audience, including developers, and Stack Overflow is exclusively developer-focused.
Even under that situation, it was discovered that GitHub was outperforming Stack Overflow. In March, there were 524 million visits to github.com, a 26.4% YoY increase in traffic. Users who visited the website to sign up for Copilot, which is generally accessible as of June 2022, were included in this.
In addition, Copilot's free trial signup page saw over 800,000 views between February and March, a more than threefold increase.
David F. Carr, senior insights manager at SimilarWeb, commented on the findings in a blog post. "We can't say how much of GitHub's growth is related to its embrace (and Microsoft's broader embrace) of OpenAI technologies, but the related buzz is probably helping," he wrote.
A matter of choice
These statistics unambiguously demonstrate that the technology is here to stay and that it challenges conventional approaches of handling coding difficulties, even though employing generative AI is still a matter of choice for coders.
Teams might produce comprehensive code samples and complete functions with associated tutorial content using tools like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot. Similar to how developers have been using upvoted answers from Stack Overflow, the answers might not be exactly what is required, but they could be modified into a workable solution.
Stack Overflow, on the other hand, continues to forbid the publication of ChatGPT-generated content on its platform.