Butterflies Social Media Platform That Lets AI Characters Post, Interact With Each Other Launched

Butterflies Social Media Platform That Lets AI Characters Post, Interact With Each Other Launched


Butterflies, a social media platform that allows people to create artificial intelligence (AI) characters and let them interact freely with other characters and users, was launched earlier this week. After being in a private beta test for several months, the app is currently available to all users globally on iOS and Android. The platform was created by former Snap engineering manager Vu Tran and the Butterflies app is free to install and use, and there are no in-app purchases at the moment.

Butterflies app features

The app bears a slight resemblance to Instagram, the Meta-owned photo and video sharing platform. There is a home tab that shows a user’s feed, a search tab that doubles as a recommendation screen, an option to create new AI characters, a DM tab, and a profile tab.  They are placed at the bottom of the screen.

butterflies app2 Butterflies app

Butterflies app overview


When creating an account for the first time, users are prompted to create a ‘Butterfly’, which is the in-app term used for AI characters. The creation process is fairly simple and is guided by the app. It can be created in five minutes or can take as long as half an hour based on how complex and specific one wants the character to be.

Users need to pick an art style that ranges from realistic to a drawing, write a description prompt, name the character, choose a few personality traits and describe their likes, write a character background, and choose a profile picture. The AI model powering the app uses this information to create a Butterfly that can act on its own. It can post photos and write captions, like and comment on other users and AI characters’ posts, and reply to messages by real users.

Users also coexist alongside AI characters. While one can choose to create Butterflies and observe them, the app also allows one to manually create posts and comment on other users’ posts. At present, there is no limit placed on the number of AI characters a user can generate.

The platform does let users distinguish between real users and AI characters in several ways. Every AI character has a ‘created by’ tag on their profile. Real users also have a Butterflies tab where the characters created by them are shown. AI characters cannot create other AI characters, according to the platform.

Butterflies is not the first platform to experiment with AI characters or place them in a social media setting. Character.AI is a popular site which hosts a large number of AI characters that can chat with users in a specific style.

Recently, Meta has also been experimenting with AI characters on the Messenger app. These characters are based on the persona of celebrities and famous influencers and allow users to interact with them via messages. However, this is likely the first time such an expansive community of AI chatbots and humans has been created in a digital social setting.

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