Wikipedia is celebrating its 15th birthday with a new source of cash


Wikipedia is celebrating its fifteenth birthday today, which is practically ancient as far as Internet years go. In those fifteen years, the website has not only managed to supplant Britannica as the dominant reference work in English, it’s become the seventh most-trafficked website in the world, and all of this was done without making a single profit. That being said, the website has still managed to accumulate $250 million in fundraising over the years to cover its operating costs, but it doesn’t want to be reliant on its current fundraising model forever, which is why it’s launched the Wikimedia Endowment, which it hopes will accumulate an additional $100 million by 2026. 

Wikipedia turns 15 on Friday. A key element in its creators’ vision of a user-generated online encyclopedia was to make it a repository of information serving audiences in multiple languages. The first non-English versions launched shortly after the Wikipedia’s founding in 2001, with offerings in six languages – German, Catalan, Swedish, French, Spanish and Russian. Today, the site is available in 280 languages. A new Pew Research Center analysis of the most visited pages in each of Wikipedia’s top 10 languages provides a window on how people in different societies and cultures use the international reference tool. Wikipedia averages more than 18 billion page views per month, making it one of the most visited websites in the world, according to, a Web tracking company owned by Amazon. The site adds more than 20,000 new articles each month and has 27 million registered users, according to data reported by Wikipedia. To compare different language versions of Wikipedia, Pew Research Center drew on data from – Wikimedia is the foundation that runs Wikipedia – for the number of overall page views. For the data regarding the top pages by language, we compiled and analyzed hourly raw page count files posted by Wikimedia. Additional analysis was performed using data compiled by Wikitrends, an independent site run by Johan Gunnarsson and based on data from Wikipedia.

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