Growth/Results

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This page contains metrics and charts showing the usage and impact of the Growth features. These results are as of November 2020.

Newcomer tasks[edit]

Newcomer tasks is the main feature on the newcomer homepage. It uses maintenance templates to suggest articles that contain easy edits, such as copyediting or adding wikilinks. Newcomers are able to choose topics of interest and then receive guidance for how to complete edits once they select an article. This feature is successfully generating productive edits from newcomers and increasing the number of newcomers who edit.

Overall numbers[edit]

  • As of January 2021, 8,200 newcomers have made 56,000 edits through this workflow, which is deployed to 17 Wikipedias.
  • The number of edits and editors has been increasing quickly, due to improvements to the feature and through more wikis deploying the feature.
  • They are making copyedits, adding links, and sometimes adding new content with references.
  • Newcomer tasks edits seem to be of high quality. Usually, 18% of edits made by newcomers are reverted. Only 12% of edits made by newcomers through newcomer tasks are reverted.
  • 21% of these users make 5 or more suggested edits.
  • 12% of these users make suggested edits on 3 or more days.
  • Some wikis engage more heavily with newcomer tasks than others. For instance, Persian Wikipedia does a very high number of suggested edits for its size.
  • Some users do a few suggested edits and then move on to more challenging contributions, such as content translation. Other users continue to do suggested edits day after day.

Impact experiment[edit]

Growth features increased activation (making a first article edit) and constructive activation (making a first unreverted article edit)

In order to understand the impact of Growth features, and specifically "newcomer tasks", we deployed the features in a controlled experiment. Some newcomers received the features (the treatment group) and some did not (the control group). The experiment lasted for six months, and we collected data from Arabic, Vietnamese, Czech, and Korean Wikipedias.

In general, the analysis showed that the Growth features improve outcomes for newcomers. Below are the most important points.

  • Newcomers who get the Growth features are 11.6% more likely to make a first article edit (i.e. to be "activated").
  • Newcomers who get the Growth features are 26.7% more likely to make a first unreverted article edit.
  • We believe they are also more likely to be retained (i.e. come back and make another article edit on a different day).
  • The features also increase edit volume (i.e. number of edits) without reducing constructiveness (i.e. if edits are reverted).

We believe that these results confirm that the Growth features, in particular newcomer tasks, lead newcomers to edit more and lead newcomers to stay on the wiki for longer.

Because of these results, we think all Wikipedias should consider implementing these features.

See this page for the detailed experiment results.

Mentorship and help panel[edit]

The mentorship module on the newcomer homepage assigns each newcomer a mentor from a list of experienced users who have signed up. The newcomer then has a simple way to ask questions without needing to use wikitext talk pages.

The help panel is present whenever a newcomer is editing a page, and gives them a way to ask questions to their wiki's help desk. It also allows them to search for help pages.

These results are as of November 2020:

  • 14,228 mentor questions have been asked by 11,785 users.
  • 2,029 help panel questions have been asked by 1,544 users.
  • About 20% of newcomers who see the help panel open it up, and about 50% of those who open it up interact with it.
  • The help panel on its own does not increase newcomer edits, but we have retained this feature because we use it to provide guidance as part of the promising newcomer tasks flow described above.