Big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook may soon pay Wikipedia for just sharing its volunteer-written articles.
Since its inception, Wikipedia has been a non-profit organization. Its main goal is to share knowledge for easy access to everyone on the internet. The foundation relies heavily on volunteers to share their knowledge on just about anything in this world. It also relies on them to spot vandalism and misleading content.
With this model, Wikipedia leans on grants and the generosity of its user base to survive. This arrangement has kept the foundation afloat for two decades. Fortunately, things are about to change for more stability in the organization.
Big tech companies like Apple soon to pay for Wikipedia contents
Wikimedia Foundation, the mother organization of Wikipedia, announced that it would be launching Wikimedia Enterprise. This new service is essentially the commercial arm of Wikimedia which will deal with giant tech companies like Apple.
These companies have been using Wikipedia’s contents for free these past years. Smart AI assistance pull their suggested answers from all over the internet but mainly use Wikipedia as its main source.
According to several key players inside Wikimedia, deals with companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon are already underway. However, the organization is still seeking the opinions of its thousands of volunteers.
Wikimedia needs to get a pulse of its people because it needs its volunteer to generate content. Without them, there will be no Wikipedia.
As soon as it enters a deal with these giant tech companies, it will essentially sell content generated by its volunteers. Wikipedia will be entering uncharted territory here, so it wants to ensure that the right steps will be taken.
According to Wikimedia’s senior director Lane Becker,
“This is the first time the foundation has recognized that commercial users are users of our service. We’ve known they are there, but we never really treated them as a user base.”
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Wikimedia wants to stay grounded on its idealistic roots of providing free knowledge to everyone. However, it is also realistic that an additional steady stream of revenue from big tech companies will be good for it.
The foundation maintains that its main funding stream will still most likely be through grants and donations. The revenues it will collect from the likes of Google and Facebook will be used to incentivize more user-contributed content.
Wikipedia will still continue to be free to use for the regular user. The system will just change for users of the Enterprise.
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