Wikipedia Zero which was launched in the year of 2012 by The Wikimedia Foundation is soon going to meet its end. The campaign which was introduced to offer crowd sourced data to the people in the developing countries at no cost seems to have run its course. It means that the company will not join hands with carriers for any new partnerships and the existing ones will continue to provide the service till the end of its term.
A few reasons have been highlighted regarding the shutdown. One of them is the lack of awareness of this campaign in the developing countries. Besides that, the data charges have also been reduced over the years which means that the people do not need an additional free service to access Wikipedia or any other website.
One must not conclude that the Wikimedia has given up on Zero-like concepts. One must also note that this program has not failed completely across the world. For instance, the Wikipedia Zero received a huge welcome by the countries such as Nigeria. In addition that, the creative video-ads which were created by the stars in the country attracted 15 million Nigerians to the service.
The company said,
One of the critical issues we identified as part of this research was low awareness of Wikipedia outside of North America and Europe. To address this, we experimented with new projects and partnerships to increase awareness of Wikipedia, and we’ve experienced some initial success in this work. In Iraq, for example, we raised awareness of Wikipedia by more than 30%. In Nigeria, we partnered with Nigerian community members and Nollywood stars to introduce more than 15 million people to Wikipedia and how it works. These successes have given us several ideas for where we may take our partnership work next, and over the coming year, we will explore other ways we can leverage the findings from our research and the Wikipedia Zero program to direct future work with partners.
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