Future Audiences/Experiments: engaging global youth on social apps

Future Audiences Objective 2 Key Result 1


Test a hypothesis aimed at reaching global youth audiences where they are on leading third party content platforms, to increase their awareness and engagement with Wikimedia projects as consumers and as contributors.


Fig. 1, July 2023 Brand Health Tracker survey results
Fig. 2, July 2023 Brand Health Tracker survey results

Over the last three years, usage of Google (which brings the majority of new readers to our projects) has declined among younger audiences, and the short-form video platform TikTok has emerged as the most popular digital destination for global youth.[1] While pre-2020, younger (under-25) audiences were one of the largest age groups reading Wikipedia globally,[2] surveying since then consistently shows that:

  • Awareness, usage of, and brand affinity with Wikipedia among today’s 18-24 global audiences is the lowest of any age cohort surveyed. (Fig. 1)
  • Younger audiences who don't use Wikipedia say they prefer to receive information via video (Fig. 2)

If we take no action, there is a risk that, due to this recent generational shift in how young people spend their time and get knowledge online, we will lose this generation as readers, contributors, and donors who could be sustaining our movement.

Fig. 3, TikTok creator interview results

Research insights


More details on research methodology and insights:


Fig. 4, "WikiHighlights" prototype testing results

Experiments with shorter-form, media rich content

Status:    Completed

Hypothesis: if we offered visual article summaries generated from Wikipedia articles as an alternative reading experience for younger readers and have them indexed by external platforms (Google, Tiktok), we would be able to test whether this could increase engagement among global youth.

Preliminary results


From small (~dozen) guided user testing with global youth:

  • Most users preferred the more readable but more static/less visually appealing versions of the prototype
  • Most users preferred shortest summary text

Next steps

  • Detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis coming soon

Other ideas

  • Test getting readers to remix/curate content
  • ...

If you have more ideas, please leave them on the talk page!