Growth/Newcomer experience projects


Several WMF teams are working together to improve newcomer experiences and new editor retention. Involved teams are Growth, Advancement, Communications, & GLAM.


In order for everyone in the world to have access to all knowledge, we need people around the world to be able to participate in building that knowledge. No matter someone’s location, language, gender, device, income, technical skills, personality, or time constraints, we want them to be able to join in and find a way to be the best Wikimedian they can be.


  • Readers of Wikipedia don’t know that they can and should participate and share knowledge on Wikipedia by becoming editors.
  • Newcomers to Wikipedia lack ways to start participating in building open knowledge.  They try to participate, but are blocked by our single, complicated, open-ended experience -- barriers of entry that especially affect underserved populations.
  • Even when newcomers do succeed at first, they are not nurtured into taking the next steps to becoming part of our communities.


If we direct newcomers to quickly make simple contributions in an onboarding experience that makes them proud of their impact and encourages their progress, then more readers, and more diverse kinds of readers, will become contributors -- especially amongst mobile users in emerging communities.


  • Account creation: Internet users learn that they can contribute and are prompted to create an account.
  • Activation: Newcomers have fast, easy, and mobile-friendly ways to make their first edits.
  • Retention: Newcomers are proud of their impact, leading them to come back.


Account creation



  • Welcome emails: Experiment sending welcome emails to newly created accounts.

Current Status[edit]

Donor Thank you page[edit]

In 2022, the Growth team and Fundraising teams completed an initial Thank you pages & banners experiment with Donors in Latin America, India, and South Africa. The Thank you page work was especially promising, and required minimal engineering effort to scale further, so in 2023 we scaled this work to Swedish, Italian, Japanese, French, and Dutch Wikipedias (T318975).

Essentially after donation, donors landed on a Thank you page with a “Try editing Wikipedia” call to action. Donors who created an account were sent to a custom account creation page, and then received the standard Growth features and onboarding.

Initial analysis shows that this flow from donation to creating an account continues to be healthy and a low-effort way to encourage new types of people to edit Wikipedia (T331495). The following is a small sample from 2023-03-07 to 2023-03-26, but you can see that the call to action to try editing resulted in over 2,600 new accounts (Registrations) and over 150 of these new accounts completed an initial edit within 24 hours of creating their account (Activations).

Language Platform Page views Unique visitors Registrations Registration % Activations Activation %
Italian Desktop 642 543 258 47.5% 32 12.4%
Mobile 310 281 110 39.1% 12 10.9%
Japanese Desktop 3,170 2,617 1,182 45.2% 50 4.2%
Mobile 2,653 2,396 978 40.8% 41 4.2%
Swedish Desktop 157 143 68 47.6% 9 13.2%
Mobile 144 134 66 49.3% 9 13.6%

Methodological notes:

  • Data collected spans 2023-03-07 to 2023-03-26.
  • "Unique visitors" is counted using a combination of IP address and User-Agent to get more correct counts in situations where users share IP addresses. Previous analysis only used IP addresses as a shortcut. This affects some wikis more than others (e.g. Japanese sees a 2–3% increase in unique visitors).
  • The count of registrations excludes known test accounts and Wikipedia app registrations, which is consistent with our previous analyses. "Constructive activation" means making at least one non-reverted edit within 24 hours of registration.

Scaling the new donor Thank you page to English Wikipedia[edit]

In 2023, the Wikimedia Foundation's Fundraising team started a community discussion so volunteers can learn more about fundraising and share ideas for how we can improve the 2023 English fundraising campaign: Wikipedia:Fundraising/2023 banners

One theme that emerged from volunteer feedback was around the need to recruit more editors, rather than just fundraise: "We need editors, not money." We plan to discuss this idea further with the English Wikipedia community to see if the Thank you page experiment would be a good fit for English Wikipedia.

After receiving support from English Wikipedia editors, we scaled the Thank you page experiment to English Wikipedia for the 2023 English fundraising campaign. Detailed analysis and interpretation of results for the first day and first week of the campaign can be found in this task: T352116, and final campaign analysis is found in this task: T352900.

We typically see over two million donations during the English banner fundraising campaign. All donors are directed to a Thank you page after donation (example Thank You page).

In 2023, this Thank you page included several different calls to action, one of which was to “Try editing Wikipedia,” which linked to a unique account creation page. From this account creation page we were able to track Registrations and Activation (editing for the first time).

The following are results for the entirety of the 2023 campaign: 2023-11-28 @ 09:00 UTC to 2024-01-01 @ 12:00 UTC.

Platform Click Throughs (to unique account creation page) Unique Click Throughs (to unique account creation page) Registrations Registration % Activations Activation %
Desktop 6,045 5,203 1,912 36.7% 219 11.5%
Mobile web 7,665 6,802 2,486 36.5% 222 8.9%
Totals 13,710 12,005 4,398 36.6% 441 10.0%

A small percentage of donors clicked through the Thank you Page to create an account, and then ~36.6% of these donors completed account creation. Of the donors that created accounts, about 10% Activated. "Activation" is defined as making an edit within 24 hours of registration and that edit not being reverted within 48 hours of being made, which is consistent with other campaign analyses we've done.

We also calculated the revert rate of the edits made by these users, as well as what proportion of their edits came through the Suggested Edits module on the Newcomer Homepage. When it comes to the revert rate across all edits, with the knowledge that contribution amounts vary greatly between users, the revert rate is 8.9% out of <900 edits (we're not reporting specific edit counts per our Data publication guidelines). The rate varies substantially by platform, on desktop it's 6.8% out of <450 edits, while on mobile web it's 11.0% out of <450 edits. These revert rates are much lower than those of typical newcomers.

The low revert rate might be a result of the high proportion of Suggested Edits these newcomers make. Overall the proportion is 61.8% out of <900 edits. The rate is lower on desktop (53.6% out of <450 edits) than on mobile web (70.0% out of <450 edits).

As we concluded in previous experiments in other languages (Newcomer Experience Pilot Project- Thank You Pages and Thank You Banners) the donor Thank you page "Try editing Wikipedia" call to action seems like a sustainable and low-impact way to grow the number of new editors on Wikipedia.