Wikimedia Product/Perspectives/Experience/Discovery




In today’s world, content finds the consumer. Over the past decade, social media have had a profound impact on the way people discover content on the internet: time and attention are scarce resources and users have become increasingly accustomed to consuming information surfaced and filtered by friends and family via social feeds. In the current paradigm, information automatically flows toward readers – it simply shows up as part of whatever journey they’re on.[1]

Journey-based information flow

“paying active attention to the news was unimportant, because such information was “in the air” as an ambient part of daily life.”

In this way, social media channels have (re)defined the expectations and habits of users all over the world. Users now expect relevant information to find them as a result of their preferences, feed settings and serendipitous browsing. Facebook [2] and WhatsApp have become primary entry points for new users accessing the internet, and are, for many emerging communities, simply conflated with the Internet. For these communities, the page-based mental model of the Internet will effectively never have existed. So to meet our newest users where they are we must recognize the interdependence of form factor[3] and discoverability in a consumption model not driven by search.

White Paper[edit]



J. Hempel, Wired, 2018 What Happened To Facebook's Grand Plan To Wire The World?

Statista, Q3 2018 Number of daily active Facebook users worldwide as of 3rd quarter 2018 (in millions)

S. Rayson, Content Trends 2018


  1. Like the Burma Shave signs motorists encountered on US roadways in the 1950’s and 60’s, modern day internet users tend to consume whatever information shows up along whatever route they’ve chosen.