The Business Model of Wikipedia

Wikipedia was created in 2001 through the efforts of Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. They hoped to create an internet-based encyclopaedia whose content would come from the users themselves. In this way, they intended to make access to knowledge available to the general public free of charge. And the idea worked: With over 55 million articles in 325 languages read by an estimated 98 million registered users, Wikipedia was ranked number 13 on the list of most popular websites by the American web traffic site Alexa in 2021.

The articles are written and edited by around 300,000 active volunteers. These so-called Wikipedians are now also responsible for correcting and approving the content, as improved content regulation has become necessary due to the increasing popularity of the platform. The user access level system was introduced for this purpose. Here, editors are assigned hierarchical positions according to their performance, which gives them more say regarding the release and blocking of information.

The administration of the project also had to be restructured due to its enormous growth. Which is why the non-profit company Wikimedia Foundation Inc. (CEO: Maryana Iskander) was founded in 2003 to take over the management of Wikipedia and its sister projects.

Wikipedia Business Model
2001
Founded
500
Employees
San Francisco, CA
Headquarter

Hard Facts

Business Model Canvas

This canvas shows a detailed explanation of how the business model of Wikipedia is structured.
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Business Model Patterns

The business model patterns of Wikipedia help to understand the mechanics behind the business model. Furthermore you can learn more about the specific business model pattern by clicking learn more.
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SWOT Analysis

The SWOT Analysis of Wikipedia is about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the companies business model. By clicking the i you can see a detailed description.
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What makes Wikipedia special?

This section is all about the secret sauce of the business model of Wikipedia. If there is any incredible information about the founding team (like how they started the business, etc.) you can learn from you can find it here!
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Marketing Insights

Last but not least in this section we analyse the marketing activities of Wikipedia. Which kind of marketing Wikipedia is doing?
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