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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Wikipedia co-founder hopes WT:Social will be an alternative to Facebook, Twitter

WT:Social is a social networking plus news sharing platform Wikipedia. This new platform aims to provide only quality content with no ads or paywall.

tech Updated: Nov 15, 2019 14:22 IST
Marcia Sekhose
Marcia Sekhose
Hindustan Times
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales attends the international Wikimedia conference in Hong Kong.
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales attends the international Wikimedia conference in Hong Kong.(REUTERS)

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales hopes the ‘WT:Social’ networking and news sharing platform will become an alternative to Facebook and Twitter. WT:Social is the rebranded social networking platform from Wikitribune which was first launched as an online publication for original stories.

WT:Social still maintains news sharing on its platform but offers social networking as well. In an interview with Financial Times (via Engadget) Wales was quoted as saying, “The business model of social media companies, of pure advertising, is problematic. It turns out the huge winner is low-quality content.”

The rebranded WikiTribune continues to focus on quality content and will not host ads or a paywall. The algorithm will also be chronological showing the newest and latest posts unlike platforms like Facebook. WT:Social creators also argue over the fact that present media being heavily ad driven is the problem behind low quality content flourishing. Also, social networks which offer the widest distribution and networking are “purely advertising supported”.

“Facebook, Twitter and other social networks make revenue based on how long you stay on their site looking at and clicking on advertising. Engagement is prioritized over quality,” reads the WT:Social blog post.

WT:Social has a Pinterest like user interface (UI) with different boxes for articles and ‘SubWikis’ users can join. Users can network with other members on topics they’ve joined on WT:Social. At present WT:Social has 50,000 registered users but joining the social networking platform is a bit tricky. Users can sign up for the wait list which has over 43,000 people now, or make donations of $12.99 per month and $100 annually.

There’s also a “circle of friends” invitation model through which users can join WT:Social. The more people users can get to register for WT:Social will make it easier for them to join the platform.