The Wikimedia mobile beta site is an experimental staging area for new features that may eventually be worked into our official mobile site.
Everyone is welcome to try out the Beta and give us feedback! You can opt into the Beta in Settings, currently located in the left navigation menu of the regular mobile site.
End user FAQ
Why is this different from desktop Beta Features?
The mobile beta site was invented before desktop beta features. It has one major feature which is that anonymous editors can opt into beta experiments. In general the Reading web team try to take advantage of both desktop and mobile beta when developing new features.
What is the Mobile Beta site?
The Beta site is where the WMF Readers web team tests out new experimental features that may eventually be worked into the main mobile site. Anyone can opt into the Mobile Beta site, but please be aware that Mobile Beta features may be quite unstable and can change rapidly.
Where can I find it/gain access?
You can find and opt in to the Beta by accessing the regular mobile gateway (xx.m.wikipedia.org), and navigating to Settings in the lefthand navigation menu.
You can exit the Beta and return to the regular mobile site at any time by going to Settings and turning off Beta.
What features are currently on the Beta?
We're working on documenting this better.
Join the Beta testing team
Simply opt in on Special:MobileOptions on any Wikimedia powered site to join our beta!
If you are building features for the mobile experience, you will be interested in how to push code from beta to stable.
What goes into beta?
Most new changes that are not bug fixes go into the mobile beta.
Generally things should go into beta if:
- they touch the page HTML - this helps us mitigate issues due to caching when we push things to production
- we are not sure about changes - this allows us to get feedback from end users or community members
- we are working on big changes - this allows us to iterate quickly and adapt our designs
- unforeseen problems - even minor changes can lead to us breaking things unexpectedly. Given the complex MediaWiki ecosystem this gives us time to correct any issues rather than resort to reverting and fire fighting.
What doesn't belong in beta?
Not everything should go in beta. There are a few exceptions.
- No clear path to promoting to production
- No time limit on how long the feature should remain in production
Promoting from beta
Data and analytics
- The user's choice to opt into Mobile Beta is stored in a cookie (optin=beta) for logged-out users, and in the user preferences (the mfMode property) for logged-in users.
- This dashboard tracks signup and disable rates. (But, unlike for most other user preferences, these changes are not recorded in the PrefUpdate EventLogging schema.)
- The X-Analytics header logged in the webrequest data contains a field distinguishing pageviews made to the Mobile Beta site.
- In November 2018 there were around 130k Mobile Beta pageviews per day, corresponding to 0.5% of all mobile web pageviews. A bit less than half of Mobile Beta pageviews (ca. 60k/day) were by logged-in users. Around 7% of logged-in mobile web pageviews go to the Mobile Beta site. (queries, per-project numbers)