New Readers/Affordability

New Readers
Research and findings
  Outcome #1: Access
  Outcome #2: Awareness
  Outcome #3: Discovery
  Outcome #4: Retention
  Outcome #5: Syndication
FAQ and all pages

People around the world are coming online, and for many of them data is prohibitively expensive. During our research, we learned that the cost of data in all 3 countries we researched impeded internet usage.

What we are doing


We're currently in the process of digging into addressing affordability as a barrier to Wikipedia usage. In this process, we are considering existing Wikimedia efforts (such as Wikipedia Zero) and other efforts to address the affordable internet globally. Our investigation will follow two distinct tracks:

  1. Investigate the global field of the affordable internet. What are other NGOs, governments, and companies doing globally to reduce the cost barrier for the internet? How do we align with them already, and how might we think about shifting?
  2. Investigate the opportunities for fully offline Wikimedia content. What are the best opportunities? How do existing solutions meet those needs, and where could they improve? How can we build programs with evaluation around those to pilot in the coming year? This work will be documented in the offline page and linked here.



Through research in 2016, we learned that many people who are interested in using Wikipedia are not currently using it due to cost and access barriers. In our target countries, the cost of data would need to decrease as much as 97% to be generally affordable. Over a quarter of people we surveyed in Nigeria who are interested in reading Wikipedia reported that they weren’t able to due to the cost of data.

Completed three idea generation / evaluation workshops


First workshop:

    • Pulled relevant findings and design principles from field research to inform concept generation (before workshop).
    • Shared overview of current affordability solutions in the market place, and a deep dive into Wikipedia Zero.
    • Iterated design principles and selection criteria to score current solutions against.
    • Collectively scored existing solutions against design principles and selection criteria.

Second workshop:

  • Concept generation:
    • individuals created ideas and presented to the group.
    • We discussed each idea.
    • In total, we came up with 34 concepts.

Third workshop:

  • Reduced the redundancies in our concepts, and combine a few where it made sense
  • We voted (using our collective understanding of user needs and selection criteria on the reduced number of 21 concepts)
  • The result of the vote was that we honed in on 5 top vote earners.
  • We discussed, and focused in on 2 concepts to further investigate and develop.



Other affordability work


There are many other NGOs, companies, and governments around the world working on providing affordable internet access. We'll collect information here about what else we learn about.