Midjourney is one of the most popular generative AI tools available in the market - the image-generating tool has trended hundreds of times since its launch for its ability to create extremely realistic and controversial images. Everyone will remember Pope Francis in his swaggy puffer jacket for a long time - except that he never did wear it, but it was an AI-generated image created with Midjourney.
Coincidentally, this could also be one of the causes why Midjourney’s CEO had to make a hard decision earlier this year. Will Midjourney be free again? Let us get to know more about Midjourney and its workings now.
Midjourney - the generative AI Everyone is Talking About
Midjourney was launched in July 2022 - it is a self-funded AI platform that is mainly used for generating AI images through prompts. Users can access this tool through its Discord server - all you need is a Discord account. At first, Midjourney allowed a free trial for all users. Users could generate up to 25 images in a grid. But truly, one could generate 100 images with a free trial as there are four grids.
The magic behind Midjourney is a strong combination of machine learning processes. The AI tool employs large language models and diffusion models for generating images from the prompts you give. The language models help in decoding the prompt from natural language to machine language and feed it to the software. As for the diffusion models, they have some complex procedures - the prompts are made into vectors and then processed into images.
Generating images with Midjourney is quite easy. All you have to do is enter your prompts in the Discord server and the bot will give you the image you are asking for. There are a few basic commands that help you with Midjourney:
- /imagine - primary command to give prompts to the bot
- /blend - command for blending two images
- /ask - command for asking a question to the bot
- /subscribe - command to join a subscription plan
Is Midjourney Free?
This question has had different answers in different timelines. If one had asked this question at the start of 2023, the answer would have been an enthusiastic ‘yes’. But now, Midjourney is no longer free - you have to buy a subscription plan to generate images through Midjourney now. What led to this?
In late March 2023, the Midjourney CEO announced that the platform would no longer offer a free trial for its users. He quoted two reasons for this decision - one was an unexpected surge in demand that the platform couldn’t handle any more; two was the abusive usage of the platform’s power for generating inappropriate images.
It is important to note that Midjourney is self-funded - the platform was started with a total of 11 employees and does not have a mega-corporation backing it up like DALL-E is backed up by OpenAI. So, it would make sense that the company had to stop free trials - after all, such an effective AI generative tool needs a lot of powerful hardware and software to function. If the servers were getting overloaded, then Midjourney would have had no other go but to pause the free trials.
But subscription plans can be helpful for those who have regular business with generative AI - the plans start from as low as $98 per year - there are also other plans such as Standard, Pro, and Mega Plans.
Reasons Behind Midjourney's Shift to the Subscription Model
In 2023, Midjourney, a well-known AI platform for creating images, switched to charging its users. This big change happened mainly for two reasons. First, a lot more people started using Midjourney than expected. This sudden increase in users put a lot of pressure on the platform. It needed more money to keep up with all these users and make sure everything worked smoothly and reliably.
The second reason was about how people were using Midjourney. Unfortunately, some were making inappropriate images, which was a problem. By starting to charge users, Midjourney could better control who was using it and what they were doing. This helped stop the wrong kind of use and kept the platform's image clean.
Also, as Midjourney grew bigger, it needed a steady flow of money to keep running. This included paying for servers, making the software better, and helping customers. So, charging users was a way for Midjourney to make sure it could keep offering a good service and grow in a responsible way.
Subscription Plans - Are They Helpful?
Now we know that Midjourney is not free, the question comes in - will Midjourney be free again? Before that, let us take a look at the platform’s subscription plans.
Recently, Midjourney hiked its subscription prices - the cheapest package starts from $10 per month. But as the price increases, the upgrades are higher too. For example, all the prompts you suggest in the Midjourney server are public. If you prefer going private, you can do so with the ‘Stealth Mode’. With the Pro Plan which costs you $60 per month and $576 per year, you can access Stealth Mode and also unlimited Relaxed Mode.
If you are a professional who uses Midjourney regularly, these subscription plans can be great for you. You can also choose whether to ask the AI to generate your images quickly or in relaxed mode, in a queue.
But now comes the important question - will Midjourney be free again? Well here is your answer.
Will Midjourney be Free Again?
While the answer is “most probably no”, there are still chances of Midjourney offering a limited free trial. We say so because when Midjourney V5.1 was released in May 2023, the company resumed the free trial for a weekend. But apart from this little ray of hope, there are not many chances that Midjourney will resume its free trial.
The Bottom Line
Midjourney is one of the best generative AI tools in the market - many of the fake AI pictures and memes that went viral online in the past few months, including the controversial Trump one, were created with Mid Journey. Sadly, the platform does not offer free trials anymore, but it might offer temporary ones with the introduction of newer versions. Keep an eye out for the free trials and make the most out of them!