Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/500M

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(For when it actually happens)

Wikimedia reaches more than 500 million people per month[edit]


In the Wikimedia movement, we have a vision statement that inspires many contributions to our endeavor: "Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment."

We're still a long way from realizing that vision, but we've recently surpassed an important milestone: as of March 2013, the combined sites hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation reached more than 500 million monthly unique visitors, according to the latest comScore Media Metrix data. Our traffic increased to 517 million in March, 5 percent higher than our previous record: 492 million in May 2012.

While more people are coming to Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia sites, they are also staying longer and reading more. Over the past 12 months, Wikipedia monthly page requests increased from 17.1 billion to 21.3 billion, with the mobile share increasing to roughly 15 percent of the total, or more than 3 billion monthly views (data). We're also gratified to see growth in significant target areas: in India, traffic as a percentage of our worldwide total increased from 4.0 percent to 4.8 percent; in Brazil it increased from 3.6 percent to 5.9 percent.

To reach the entire planet, we will need to not only continue to expand our mobile offerings, but also eliminate barriers to access. With Wikipedia Zero, we're partnering with mobile providers in the developing world to reduce or eliminate data fees for accessing Wikipedia on a mobile phone. In March, we announced the fourth major Wikipedia Zero partnership, which means that the program will be available to 410 million mobile users around the world.

For those who don't have an Internet connection at all, Wikimedia movement contributors are enabling offline access to Wikipedia, such as the work by Kenyan volunteers who travel to rural schools and install copies of the encyclopedia on computers there. And now, there's also an open source application for Android phones and tablets that makes it easy to download and read offline copies of Wikimedia content.

The idea of enabling every single human being to freely share in the sum of all knowledge is still as audacious as ever -- but it's also starting to look like an achievable goal, if we come together to make it happen.

--Sue Gardner, Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Notes space[edit]

Potentially mention:

  • Afripedia
  • Kiwix for Android

  • Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment.
  • Wikimedia projects combined reach more than 500 million people every month according to latest comScore numbers. This means we're 1/2 of the way to completing our ambitious goal of reaching a billion people by 2015.
  • Challenge is reaching people everywhere, no matter the device or level of connectivity. How we're doing that...
    • Mobile Web: we're serving more than three billion pageviews a month with our mobile site (data)
    • WP Zero: Eliminate the cost barrier for everyone who has a phone.
    • Content is free: Offline distribution is a reality for millions more (link Wafula blog post), mention School's Wikipedia?
  • With 7B people world-wide, we've still got a long way to go... mostly in Asia and Africa. But nobody could have imagined that we'd be able to go this far.
    • Here is a google doc spreadsheet of Wikimedia UVs by country from January 2012 - March 2013. There are some good data points here, but not much that substantiates any relative growth from Asia or Africa over the last 15 months. The geographic distribution of uniques, in fact, has been fairly steady across the board. Some exceptions, though, are India (from 3.6% of worldwide total to 4.8%) and Brazil (from 2.8% to 5.9%).
  • what we also would like is for more people to contribute to Wikipedia link to movement priorities
  • From March 2012 to March 2013, while UVs (of all WMF sites) went from 489 million to 517 million, page views (of Wikipedia) went from 17.3 billion to 20.6 billion. This means the implied "average" page view per UV went from 35 to 39. While we have many efforts to reach more uniques in key regions, there is evidence that our existing base of 500 million is reading more than they used to, due to things like ubiquitous mobile access and more articles (ie, the reach=>particpation=>content virtuous cycle)
  • stats on the changing dynamics between languages - perhaps most English speaking readers assume that English Wikipedia is the dominant force and will continue to be that even as more people find Wikipedia in other parts of the world
  • link to increasing the number of languages that a Wikipedia is available in?
  • and increasing the scope of the content that the Wikimedia projects provide?


  • When Wikipedia is down, thousands of students become late with their home assignments
  • Site stability and performance: new datacenter, Lua, etc.