Growth/Annual Plan 2023-2024

The Growth team's work is guided by the Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan, and specifically the Product & Technology department's Objectives and Key Results.

This year's Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) do not include a key result specifically addressing new editors or newcomer retention. However, there are several ways for the Growth team to support other annual plan objectives and key results related to Wiki Experiences.

We expect that about half of our time will be devoted to annual planning priorities in the coming year, while the other half will be spent on technical maintenance and committed work (work that needs to be done due to some external commitment).

Committed work

  • IP Masking: The Growth team is responsible for several aspects of the IP Masking project.
  • Actively Maintained Projects: We will continue to scale out work completed in the previously fiscal year, like Add a link, Add an image, and Positive reinforcement. We will also provide maintenance support for core Growth functionality like GrowthExperiments, Link recommendations, and Mentorship.
  • Passively Maintained Projects: The Growth team is currently the maintainer of many other extensions and features. Bugs and issues coming up on these projects will only receive attention if the issue is urgent, affects a large number of users and needs to be unbroken immediately.

First annual planning priority


The Growth team's first annual planning will relate to Contributor experience, key result 1.2 and will involve moving the Community configuration feature from the GrowthExperiments extension to MediaWiki core: Community configuration 2.0

Growth team hypothesis Project details
If editors with extended rights can transparently and easily configure important on-wiki functionality for all users, communities will have control over how features function on their wikis, and WMF teams will be able to ship new functionality quickly. Community configuration 2.0

This project will include a community consultation, discussion with technical stakeholders, scalable design improvements, and engineering work to move the Community configuration feature from the GrowthExperiments extension to MediaWiki core. Short-term this project supports the Editing and Moderator Tools team projects  (Edit check and Revert prediction bot), and long-term this work will help evolve how WMF product and technology teams develop and deploy features. Prioritizing work on Community configuration acknowledges that each community has unique needs, and invested community members should be empowered to configure features to meet those needs. This approach removes the barrier for non-technical moderators to customize settings for their communities and fosters a more inclusive and collaborative product development process, thus enabling WMF to better serve the Wikimedia movement.

The Growth team and four other Wikimedia Foundation teams are focusing on projects related to this to the WikiExperiences 1.2 Key Result.

Second annual planning priority


After the Growth team has completed our committed work and our first annual planning priority related to Community configuration, the Growth team will focus on a second project that relates to Wiki Experiences. Mid-way through the fiscal year it became clear that the WikiExperiences 1.3 key result was at risk, and the Growth team was asked to support a project related to this key result.

1 percentage point increase (YoY) in the portion of newly created or improved articles on high-impact topics with acceptable quality, per the “global quality score”, that are created or edited on Wikipedia, starting with underrepresented geographic regions and gender. As we learn more and establish baselines, this metric may be adjusted including adapting for normalization and/or adjusted to compensate for fluctuations.

Growth team hypothesis Project details
If we release a new Homepage module that highlights knowledge gaps, then more editors will work to create and improve articles related to high-impact topics. Community Updates

As newer editors progress in their involvement on the wikis, the Newcomer homepage should evolve and offer more complex tasks and opportunities that encourage new editors to engage in more meaningful ways. By exposing newer editors to important community events and initiatives, newer editors will hopefully get more invested and involved in the wikis and connect with other Wikimedians.

Furthermore, this new module can be used to help bring attention to content gaps on high-impact topics, which aligns with the 2030 Movement strategy’s “Topics for Impact” recommendation.

Previously discussed annual planning priorities:


The Growth team originally discussed fitting one of the following projects in as our second annual plan project in the 23/24 fiscal year, however we will instead focus on the WE1.3 projects mentioned above. Although the following projects will not fit into the Growth team's 23/24 roadmap, they are still projects that are being considered in the future.

Growth team hypothesis Project details
If we provide more guidance and guardrails in the article creation process, then patrollers will need to review fewer low-quality articles. Article creation for new editors

This will likely be a community configurable "Article wizard", helper, or Edit check that relates to article creation. This project may also fulfill the 2023 Reference requirement for new article creation wishlist proposal (ranked #26 out of 182 proposals). This project will work as a complement to the Editing team’s Edit check project.  Growth team’s work will proactively provide guidance and structure for editors, while the Editing team’s work will reactively check the changes once an editor moves to review and publish changes. In 2022, about 28% of newly registered users who completed the Welcome Survey indicated that they opened an account specifically to create a new article [account creation reason]. These newcomers don't yet understand core Wikipedia principles and guidelines around notability, conflict of interest, neutral point of view, etc. These newcomers need additional guidance or they end up frustrated and disappointed when their articles get reverted or deleted. Because they aren't receiving the proactive guidance they need, they end up creating additional work for content moderators who need to provide reactive guidance which is rarely well-received.

If we can provide better guidance and guardrails for newcomers creating an article, then it should lead to less downstream work for moderators, and potentially even decrease the burnout new article patrollers experience from the repetitive work of helping frustrated new editors.

Growth team hypothesis Project details
If we add new reader-centered modules to the homepage (e.g., reading lists, interested topics feed), readers will be more likely to participate in the wikis in non-editing ways. Non-editing participation

The Growth team will utilize the Non-editing participation research to guide this project. We will build out the customization and modularity of the homepage to evolve the page into a personalized homepage for all Wikipedians. We will explore adding reader-centered features to the newcomer homepage as a way to provide features for the 19% of users who create accounts to “read Wikipedia” [account creation reason]. Growth has been focusing on the journey from account creation to new editor, but we haven’t spent as much time thinking about the newcomer funnel from the start of the funnel: the millions of readers accounting for over 20 billion monthly page views [Wikimedia statistics].

We already know that 19% of new account holders create an account to read, based on Welcome Survey analysis [account creation reason]. We hypothesize that by offering clear benefits for readers, we can attract even more readers to create accounts. Furthermore, we know from prior research that Growth Features greatly increase activation in newcomers who respond to the Welcome Survey saying they signed up to read Wikipedia. Growth features lead to a 51.5% relative increase in the likelihood that these readers will try editing, and they will be retained as editors at a similar rate to users in the Control group who were as active as them during the first 24 hours after registration [Newcomer Tasks Experiment Analysis].

Research & experimentation


We hope to fit in a small amount of time to research and experiment with the following ideas:

Growth team hypothesis Project details Mid-fiscal year update
If we introduce an AI-powered helper for readers and new editors, then we can reduce moderation burden; and we can experiment with working with large language models in a less risky or controversial way. In the second half of the fiscal year, depending on the initial findings of the Future Audiences working group, the Growth team would like to fit in a small experiment around an AI chatbot trained on help pages.  

If considered, this project will closely look at risks and consider community concerns. Human engagement remains the most essential building block of the Wikimedia knowledge ecosystem. AI works best as an augmentation for the work that humans do on our project, not as a replacement.

We shared some initial mockups with readers to get feedback about an LLM / AI-powered helper:

Growth/Non-editing participation

If the homepage provides a newcomer-friendly translation task for multilingual newcomers, then the number of newcomers who activate and are retained will increase. Translation task for the Homepage:

Provide an access point to the Content Translation and Section Content Translation tool from the Newcomer homepage for people interested in translation as a way of contributing to Wikipedia. Ensure the feature is community configurable so Admins can decide if the task is surfaced to new editors.

We will discuss this idea with communities and test an initial low-effort approach: Homepage content translation task

Community discussion


Any project the Growth team pursues will include community consultations with Growth pilot wikis, and other impacted user groups.

Focus group discussion about Contributor experience 1.2


Moderators conversation: The call is intended to provide more clarity for the product and technology departments, ensuring we hear directly from moderators about what they think needs to be done to improve moderation workflows. The focus group call is scheduled for 4th May 2023, from 17:00 to 18:00 UTC. During the call, we would like to discuss the following questions in particular, but we are open to discussing needs in general and can talk a little about some projects we're considering:

  1. How do you determine where your attention is needed when navigating your project?
  2. How do you prioritize what needs your attention?
  3. What are your "Power tools" and why?
  4. What one change to software would improve your workflow / make your life easier?

Community consultation about Growth's annual plan hypotheses


As part of (T336608), we will engage with community moderators (editors with advanced rights, such as patrollers, administrators, and functionaries) to discuss ideas around Contributor experience, key result 1.2.

We collected feedback from English Wikipedia and French Wikipedia, as well as feedback from our Growth Pilot Wikis: Arabic Wikipedia, Bengali Wikipedia, Czech Wikipedia, and Spanish Wikipedia.

  • Here is a summary of the community discussion related to the article creation for new editors ideas.

Outcome of the Growth team's 23/24 annual plan


Product development & engineering: