Wikimedia Enterprise announces its first client: Google

Google and Internet Archive will be the first two entities to subscribe to Wikimedia Enterprise services.

This subsidiary of the Wikimedia Foundation, the NGO that hosts and organizes the development of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, aims to offer companies access to a premium API allowing the reuse of content published on Wikipedia in other solutions.

Google’s first customer

Concerning Internet Archive, which notably publishes the online service Wayback Machine, Wikimedia indicates that access to the service will serve them in their mission of archiving the Internet. The company says the Internet Archive will have free access to Wikimedia Enterprise services.

Google is therefore the company’s first real big customer, but the company nonetheless states that “less than a year after its commercial launch, Wikimedia Enterprise is covering its current operating costs with a growing list of users exploring the product “.

“Content from Wikimedia projects helps power certain features of Google, including being one of many data sources that appear in its knowledge screens. Wikimedia Enterprise has helped make the process of finding content more efficient,” the Wikimedia Enterprise press release reads.

A contested strategy

The added value of Wikimedia Enterprise consists in offering additional services to users of its APIs and products: the foundation promises that these will remain accessible to the general public, but Wikimedia Enterprise customers will be able to benefit from a service personalized support as well as service level agreements guaranteeing API availability and response times. The price varies according to the number of requests issued by the client.

The launch of Wikimedia Enterprise in October 2021 had obviously provoked debate within the community of contributors, some feeling disappointed to see the foundation launch a commercial subsidiary of this type. The obvious risk is to alienate the community or to be dependent on Google to finance the activities of the foundation, until now mainly financed by donations from companies and individuals.

The launch of this subsidiary is part of a plan to develop Wikipedia by 2030, the outline of which was defined by the strategic direction of the Wikimedia Foundation.

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