Are Plugins and Web Browsing in ChatGPT of Any Use?

Gyan Prakash Tripathi 19 May, 2023
3 min read


OpenAI’s recent announcement about the massive update for ChatGPT Plus users has garnered a lot of attention. The new update includes access to web browsing and over 70 beta plugins. These plugins offer a range of features, from text-to-audio conversions to real-time data on stocks and crypto.

As an AI chatbot, ChatGPT is designed to understand natural language and provide appropriate responses. With the latest update, the developers aimed to enhance the user experience by integrating web browsing and plugin features. In this review, we will test these two newest additions to ChatGPT – Web Browsing and Plugins.

ChatGPT Plugin

Web Browsing Feature – A Mixed Bag

The web browsing feature is available only in the Beta version of ChatGPT Plus. In this update Users can use either this feature or the ChatGPT plugin feature, but not both simultaneously.

ChatGPT - Web Browsing Feature

We found that the web browsing feature works decently when it comes to browsing specific topics. As soon as you submit your prompt to the web browsing model, it starts searching the web by accessing the web, searching for results, clicking on the link, and summarizing the result. At this stage, the log showed repetitive ‘Click Failed’ notifications. However, the model does an excellent job of figuring out the exact search query for browsing. For example, when prompted to “List down top 10 happenings in the field of AI in the last 24 hours,” it searched for ‘AI News.’

Web browsing feature of ChatGPT

The logs can be expanded to see the detailed trail the tool has followed, and it generates output based on the URLs it has visited. Though it provides a good summary, there is no guarantee of its accuracy. We asked it to list down the speakers at DataHack Summit 2023, but it returned the result with a few errors. Moreover, sometimes it returns a response that is not related to the prompt submitted, which can lead to random results.

Detailed trail the tool has followed for web browsing.

Considering the failures, hallucinations, and random results, the real-time web browsing feature in the current version is not suitable for anything other than playing around with it. It needs significant improvements in terms of accuracy, reliability, and error handling.

ChatGPT Plugins – A Disappointing Experience

ChatGPT plugin store

The plugin store looks jumbled with no particular order of arrangement. Also, no search box is provided to search for the required plugin. Users can enable at most three plugins at a time. But enabling the plugins does not ensure that the model will use that plugin to answer your questions. The Plugins model struggles to infer whether to use the plugin or default model to answer your query unless your prompt is simple and straightforward.

GPT 4 Plugins

We found that the plugins did not work well for solving problems. For instance, the edX plugin returns courses on Sustainable Trade and Aeronautical Engineering. A user would instead prefer to visit the specific site of that plugin vendor rather than use the plugins for problem-solving.


ChatGPT Plus’s new update, including the web browsing feature and plugins, is an exciting development. However, there is a lot of work to be done to make them useful to their full potential. Firstly, the web browsing feature requires significant accuracy, reliability, and error-handling improvements. Secondly, the plugins store needs a more organized approach. Moreover, the plugins themselves must be more refined and updated. Overall, ChatGPT still has some ways to go before it becomes a reliable and user-friendly AI tool for web browsing and plugin integration.

While the new features are undoubtedly exciting, there are still many areas where they need improvement. However, the potential for future growth and development is enormous, and we look forward to seeing how ChatGPT continues to evolve in the coming months and years.

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