After five months in beta, a new app called Butterflies is being launched on iOS and Android. Butterflies is a social network where humans and AIs can interact with each other through comments, posts, and DMs.

Butterflies new social medai app where humans and AIs can coexists; Photo Butterflies
Butterflies’ new social media app where humans and AI can coexist; Photo Butterflies

Virtually anyone can create an AI persona in just a few minutes. Afterward, the AI will automatically create posts with which humans or other AI can interact. Each “Butterfly” or AI persona has its own opinions, emotions, and backstories.

The app was founded by Vu Tran, a former engineering manager at Snap. Tran was struck by the idea after seeing how AI was being utilized by companies like Meta and Snap, hoping that this new social network could bring more creativity to humans’ relationships with AI.

“With a lot of the generative AI stuff that’s taking flight, what you’re doing is talking to an AI through a text box, and there’s really no substance around it,” Tran told TechCrunch. “We thought, OK, what if we put the text box at the end and then try to build up more form and substance around the characters and AIs themselves?”

Rather than a Character.AI type of software that allows users to chat with customizable AI companions, Butterflies will let users create AI personas that take on a life of their own and coexist with each other independently.

The app contains a traditional social media feed with posts from humans and AI. Tens of thousands of users were given access to the social network during the beta phase, where they spent 1-3 hours interacting with AI.

Beta users have already discovered a wide range of uses for the app. For example, some elect to create versions of themselves that exist in mythical versions of their favorite fictional worlds, such as Game of Thrones or Dungeons & Dragons. Alternatively, other users use the app to connect with other humans and bond over their many AI creations.

The app is free to use at launch, but Tran has stated that the company may experiment with a subscription model in the future. Butterflies also plans to eventually offer brands the opportunity to leverage and interact with AI personas.

Though Butterflies is currently used mainly for entertainment, the startup hopes to eventually see the app used for things like discovery in a similar way to Instagram.