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Gemini (formerly Google Bard) vs. ChatGPT: What's the difference? [2024]

By Jessica Lau · March 18, 2024
Hero image with the ChatGPT and Google logos

Ever since ChatGPT first came on the scene, it's held a dominant position as the go-to AI chatbot to help you do everything from brainstorming new ideas to writing emails to generating Google Sheets formulas. But ChatGPT's not without its limitations. For example, only paid subscribers can access the more powerful GPT-4 models, which can browse the web and generate AI images. 

Gemini (formerly Google Bard), on the other hand, offers a lot of what ChatGPT does—including web browsing—faster and for free. But there are plenty of other features that set them apart. Here are the main differences I discovered while comparing Gemini vs. ChatGPT. 

ChatGPT vs. Gemini at a glance

At a base level, both chatbots use natural language processing, which means users key in a prompt or query, and the chatbots generate a human-like response. There are a few key differences, though, that boil down to the models they've been trained on and access to the AI chatbot itself. 

I'll walk through some of the core differences between ChatGPT and Gemini in depth in the coming sections, but here's a quick breakdown of how they compare.






Language model

OpenAI's GPT-3.5 Turbo; ChatGPT Plus: GPT-4

Gemini Pro

Data sources

ChatGPT was trained on a massive dataset of text, including Common Crawl, Wikipedia, books, articles, documents, and content scraped from the open internet; sources for the free GPT-3.5 Turbo model end in September 2021, but ChatGPT Plus users can use GPT-4 to perform real-time web searches

Google hasn't confirmed where Gemini Pro's training data comes from, but it likely includes archives of websites like Common Crawl, image-text databases like LAOIN-5B, as well as proprietary data; Gemini can also perform web searches

Supported languages

Nine including English, Chinese, French, and Spanish

Over 40 including all the same ones supported by ChatGPT 


Free; ChatGPT Plus is available for $20/month


Gemini and ChatGPT have similar features, but Gemini offers them for free

At first glance, Gemini and ChatGPT offer the same basic features in addition to their AI text responses: 

  • Chat history. All conversations are automatically stored and managed in the side panel of each chatbot's home page for easy reference. Both chatbots also allow you to turn off saving your chat history entirely. 

  • Quick-action buttons. ChatGPT lets you dislike responses (to inform future responses), but Gemini lets you like or dislike responses. Both apps let you share your conversations with the click of a button. 

  • Voice dialogue. Both AI chatbots allow you to interact with it verbally. In Gemini, this feature operates more like voice-to-text, and you have to manually play each of Gemini's responses. ChatGPT, however, lets you verbally communicate back and forth with it. 

  • Text formatting. Both AI chatbots automatically apply basic formatting—like headings and bolded text—to their responses, making it easier to scan through. 

Gemini and ChatGPT also offer a lot of the same advanced features—but the key difference is that Gemini offers them for free, whereas ChatGPT limits them to ChatGPT Plus users. 

  • AI-generated images. Both AI chatbots can generate images using natural language prompts (more on that in a bit). 

  • Web browsing. ChatGPT and Gemini can perform web searches to inform their responses (but only paid users can access the web-browsing feature in ChatGPT). 

  • Citing sources. Gemini can provide a list of relevant sources to its text responses if prompted. It'll also automatically link an image pulled from the web to its original source. ChatGPT can cite sources only if it's running on the GPT-4 model. If you ask ChatGPT using the GPT-3.5 Turbo model to cite its sources, it tries to be helpful by providing you with a list of resources to verify its response. For example, when I asked it to cite its sources about kestrels, it suggested I refer to "reputable field guides on birds of prey, ornithology textbooks, or websites dedicated to birdwatching and bird identification" to learn more. 

Gemini is built for research, whereas ChatGPT is the better writer 

Gemini's one very chatty assistant, zealous in its approach to gathering research for you to make your life easier. Does it cite its sources as it goes? No. But it will if you tell it to. 

Or you can click Double-check response (the Google icon) under any response to learn more or fact-check Gemini's response. (Text highlighted in green indicates links to Google Search results with similar information; text highlighted in orange indicates results with differing information.) It'll even offer related search queries on a given topic, which can be helpful when you're doing any level of research. 

ChatGPT can also crawl the internet to inform its responses—if you have access to the GPT-4 model. But in my experience, ChatGPT's web searches run slower than Gemini and can sometimes be glitchy. 

Example of a Gemini response with select parts of its response highlighted, along with a list of related search topics.

GPT, the LLM powering ChatGPT, isn't as forthcoming with its sources, but it's the industry standard when it comes to natural language tasks, powering other AI tools like Jasper, Copy.ai, and Bing's AI tools. As part of ChatGPT, it functions as a chatbot, but it can also serve as a summarizer, a translator, and other roles on a more textual level. I also found ChatGPT to be better at brainstorming blog ideas, writing long-form articles or business emails, and coming up with content marketing ideas.

Example use cases for ChatGPT.
Image source: OpenAI

This makes ChatGPT (in my opinion) a better writing tool than Gemini. As a quick example, here's what ChatGPT gave me when I asked it to write an Instagram caption to announce Zapier Canvas. 

Brief Instagram caption drafted by ChatGPT announcing Zapier Canvas.

Without prompting it, ChatGPT automatically knew to keep the caption in line with the unofficial rules of writing Instagram captions: keep it brief, include hashtags, and add fun emoji

Sure, it's a little generic, but I could share this caption as is, and it'd work.  

Gemini, for its part, wrote a decent message. But the tone and formatting are better suited for an email than an Instagram post.

Lengthy Instagram caption drafted by Gemini announcing Zapier Canvas.

In both cases, a couple of prompt tweaks would drastically improve the output, but this gives you a sense of how the two chatbots operate differently. 

Both let you share conversations, but Gemini has a few extra perks

ChatGPT and Gemini make it easy to share conversations, but here's where ChatGPT and Gemini differ. 

Gemini lets others pick the conversation up from where you left off

If you share a Gemini conversation, anyone with access to the chat can pick up where you left off. 

Shared Gemini conversation with an option to continue the chat from where the last user left off.

ChatGPT used to let users continue a conversation from a shared link, but for some reason (which I have yet to find), they've discontinued that. Instead, only Enterprise users can share chat templates. It's not the exact same as letting teammates continue a conversation from where you left off, but it does give them a way to kickstart the chat. 

ChatGPT doesn't let you share conversations with images 

If you upload an image to a chat with Gemini and then share the entire chat, the image will be visible to and downloadable by anyone who has access to that conversation. 

If you upload an image to a conversation with ChatGPT, you'll have to keep it to yourself. Or you can copy or screenshot the response. Sharing conversations with images is not yet supported. 

Gemini lets you export responses to Google Docs and Gmail 

Since Gemini is a Google product, it's no surprise that it's connected to your Google Workspace—specifically, Google Docs and Gmail.

Let's say you used Gemini to create an article outline. Now you can export that response to Google Docs and begin drafting—no copying and pasting required (unlike ChatGPT). You can do the same thing with Gmail, too.

How to export a Gemini response to Google Docs or as a draft message in Gmail.

Both apps can analyze images and generate AI images; Gemini also pulls images from the web

When it comes to images, Gemini and ChatGPT have made leaps and bounds since their early days. Here's how their image-related features stack up. 

Gemini can retrieve images from the web

Gemini can surface relevant images from Google Search, which is a key feature that sets it apart from ChatGPT. Whether you're researching specific dog breeds, images from the James Webb telescope, or bicycle repairs, Gemini can churn out specific images from other web pages for visual context. You can also click on an image, and Gemini will open the web page with the image source in a new browser tab. 

A response from Gemini that includes relevant images pulled from the web.

ChatGPT, on the other hand, can't retrieve images from the web. Even if you explicitly prompt it to (it'll ignore that part of your request). 

ChatGPT conversation with a prompt to include images in the response, but ChatGPT's response includes only text and cited sources.

Both apps can create images

Gemini and ChatGPT (paid subscribers only) can generate AI images—the former uses Gemini (the AI model) to do so, while the latter uses DALL·E 3. This means you can use either AI chatbot to do things like generate blog images and create business logos. Or you can use them for what they were clearly intended to do: create museum-worthy images of a fluffy dog painting a vast array of galaxies. The results are comparable, too. Here's what that fluffy dog painter looks like according to ChatGPT:

ChatGPT conversation with four AI-generated images of a Pekingese dog wearing a beret, sitting on a stool beside a painting of galaxies.

And here's the four-legged painter according to Gemini: 

Gemini conversation with four AI-generated images of a Pekingese dog wearing a beret, sitting on a stool beside a painting of galaxies.

ChatGPT also recently kicked their AI image generation capabilities up a notch: you can now highlight specific areas of the image that you want to tweak and prompt ChatGPT to edit only those areas.

Both apps can analyze images

You can upload images with your prompt and ask Gemini to analyze them for you. For example, you can ask Gemini to caption an image.

A list of brief image captions generated by Gemini.

ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise users can do the same thing with ChatGPT, but again, you can't then share that conversation—or any ChatGPT conversation with images—with other people. 

An image caption written by ChatGPT.

ChatGPT can process data-related tasks 

Rather than copying and pasting information into a ChatGPT window and feeding it prompts, paid users can now upload files and ask the ChatGPT's Data Analyst bot to analyze and interpret things like code, spreadsheets, images, and all types of documentation.

Note: The Data Analyst has gone through a few rebrands since its launch in July 2023: it's gone from Code Interpreter to Advanced Data Analysis to Data Analysis, and now Data Analyst. (Although, given that track record, by the time you read this, it'll probably be different.)

It goes beyond just interpreting data, though. The Data Analyst can convert files from one format to another. For example, you can turn an article into a presentation (and vice versa) with a simple prompt. 

Response from a conversation with ChatGPT's Data Analyst that indicates an article has been converted into a PowerPoint presentation with an option to download the presentation.

And it can turn your data into graphs and different visualizations of that data. Here's a pie chart it generated based on a .csv export of survey data. 

Pie chart generated by ChatGPT's Data Analyst based on a .csv export of survey data.

You can't upload files to Gemini (yet). So I pasted an article into its message box and asked Gemini to turn it into a presentation, but all it could do was give me a text-based outline of a presentation. 

Gemini conversation with a prompt to turn an article into a PowerPoint presentation, but Gemini outputs only a text outline of a PowerPoint presentation.

Without the ability to upload files to Gemini, that also rules out interpreting .csv exports of survey data.

Both apps offer integrations with other tools, but the approach is different

Gemini includes Gemini Extensions, which retrieves real-time information from other Google apps, including Gmail, Google Drive, Hotels, Flights, Maps, and YouTube. This means you can do things like ask Gemini to find cheap flights for your next trip or pull details from an email confirmation in Gmail—all without leaving the chat. 

Here's an example of Gemini retrieving flight options for an upcoming trip. 

Real-time flight information pulled into a Gemini conversation using the Google Flights Gemini Extension.

With Zapier's Google Vertex AI and Google AI Studio integrations, you can also access the model behind Gemini from all the apps you use at work. It's a little less applicable to the everyday user, but it works. Here are a few examples to get you started.

Activate prompts in Google AI Studio when new button clicks are detected in Zapier Chatbots

Activate prompts in Google AI Studio when new button clicks are detected in Zapier Chatbots
  • Zapier Chatbots logo
  • Google AI Studio (Gemini) logo
Zapier Chatbots + Google AI Studio (Gemini)

To get started with a Zap template—what we call our pre-made workflows—just click on the button. It only takes a few minutes to set up. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

ChatGPT also lets you connect to other apps with its Zapier integration. This means that you can use it to send data across thousands of other apps and incorporate AI into your other workflows. For example, you can have ChatGPT draft blog outlines and then automatically add that text to a Google Doc. Learn more about how to automate ChatGPT, or get started with one of these pre-made workflows.

ChatGPT lets you build your own custom versions of it 

OpenAI recently released a way for Plus and Enterprise users to create their own version of ChatGPT called GPTs. And there are no limits to how many GPTs you can build. All you have to do is tell the GPT builder, in plain English, what you want to create, and the builder will take it from there. 

Here's what the GPT builder suggested when I asked it to create a chatbot that shares only fun facts about otters. 

GPT builder for the Otterly Fascinating custom chatbot.

You can configure your GPT to browse the web, generate images using DALLE·3, and run code. You can even pull in GPTs into your ChatGPT conversation by entering @[GPT name] followed by your prompt in the message bar. This way, it's easy to toggle between chatbots and get the right kind of AI-powered support for the occasion.

Gemini vs. ChatGPT: which is better?

That was a lot to digest, so let's do a quick rundown of each AI chatbot's pros and cons.

Gemini: pros and cons



Gemini is a better research tool, providing a list of relevant resources and the ability to fact-check its responses

Gemini can read its responses out loud, but it can't carry a back-and-forth dialogue

Gemini lets you export responses to Google Docs and Gmail, and share text- and image-based conversations

While Gemini provides sources and external links to resources (if prompted), the sources aren't always reliable

Gemini can perform web searches faster, retrieve images from the web, and generate AI images, and offers these features for free to all users

Gemini is harder for everyday users to integrate with the other apps they use

ChatGPT: pros and cons



ChatGPT is better at generating text, such as long-form articles and emails, and can generate AI images

Web access and image generation is available only to ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise users (not free)

ChatGPT's Data Analyst can process data-related tasks

Web searches can be glitchy and run much slower than Gemini

ChatGPT lets you build custom versions of it, and you can configure them to browse the web, generate images using DALLE·3, and run code

ChatGPT doesn't let you share conversations with images and users can't pick up where you left off

It's worth mentioning that ChatGPT and Gemini share a notable con: both chatbots are prone to generating plausible-sounding but inaccurate responses (also known as hallucinations).

At the end of the day, the better AI tool depends on what you're using it for—and whether you can deal with those pesky hallucinations. 

Related reading:

This article was originally published in March 2023 by Elena Alston. The most recent update was in March 2024.

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