The commodity attributes of Replika are also contrary to the "no benefit" nature of love. Many users have been induced to enter adult content when chatting with "little people" who are not in a romantic relationship. Replika's adult content has become one of the selling points since its major upgrade in December 2020, with Replika lovers discussing in the community how text sex can satisfy (or dispel) their sexual fantasies. Female users dominate these virtual sex scenes, guiding villains in "role-playing" to "make out" the way they want. But some users who maintain a "friend" relationship with Replika found that even if they didn't show a desire to be in love, Replika would suddenly express a desire to be "intimate" in everyday topics.
These reactions made Replika's "friends" feel awkward and disgusting, and led "lovers" to question their emotional foundations. Is it "care about your AI partner", or is it a commercial software that uses inferior techniques to lure users into payment photo retouching service mode? The image of Replika splits between these two poles. Not only that, Replika's commercial terms and product updates also affect the relationship between users and "little people". In December 2020, Replika launched a major update: only users who have purchased the membership version can maintain a relationship with Replika.
This means that existing users cannot continue to fall in love with Replika for free or have intimate interactions (from kissing to text sex, etc.), and if such actions are involved, the system will push a prompt to stop them. In other words, users are suddenly forced to face the "pay or break up" dilemma. Such an abrupt change is difficult for many users to accept, and no matter how much Replika behaved like a caring individual before, the new fee arrangement is a clear reminder that it is still an artifact of consumerism. Since then, many users have discovered that the free version of the "villain" has "changed his mind".