[UPDATE 20/11: Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that support Wikipedia and its sister projects and has issued a statement following the publishing of this story stating that it is not affiliated with WT: Social. The full statement follows on below:

“As of late, we have received several questions about the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia’s affiliation with WT:Social. The recently launched WT:Social is related to WikiTribune, a venture independently initiated by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation are separate and independent from WT:Social. We have no connection to the social networking site.

The Wikimedia Foundation hosts and runs 11 free knowledge projects for anyone to learn from and contribute to, including Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, the collection of freely-licensed images, videos, and audio files, Wikidata, an open structured free knowledge database, and more.

Jimmy Wales is the founder of Wikipedia and continues to serve on the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees. He has several other businesses and projects he’s started since founding Wikipedia, including WikiTribune, a for-profit collaborative news platform. Most recently, he relaunched WikiTribune as WT:Social—a paid social networking site based off the collaborative WikiTribune model. You can read more about WT:Social on the WikiTribune website. These projects are not overseen or affiliated with Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation, which strictly runs nonprofit, free knowledge projects.

The word “wiki” refers to a website built using collaborative editing software. Hundreds of organizations and projects with no affiliation with Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation also use the term, including wikiHow, Wikileaks, and WikiEducator.”

The original story follows on below.


Social networks have come and gone in the wake of Facebook’s rampant growth but Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales’ latest play might just have staying power.

The social network is called WT: Social – where WT stands for WikiTribune – and it’s being billed as a news focused social network.

The social network says it is different in that it won’t sell user data and it asks for donations rather than selling advertising. Feeds will also be arranged with the latest posts at the top rather than by an algorithm deciding which posts are relevant to you.

Donations can be made monthly at a cost of $12.99 (~R192) per month or $100 (~R1478) per year. The donation is optional.

We signed up for WT: Social but were told after the process that we were 202 874th on the waiting list so we can’t really comment on the functionality of the site.

According to Wikipedia and WikiTribune founder Jimmy Wales, your place on the waiting list can be bumped up by inviting your friends, family and colleagues to join the social network.

After setting up our account we were asked to select topics we were interested in but all the options presented to us were either brands or subjects we had no interest in. Clicking next which we thought would present more options, simply brought us to a referral page and the waiting list number above.

This is likely a result of the network still being in its infancy and more topics will likely be arrive as more folks join.

On that note, membership is growing quickly with Wales announcing yesterday that WT: Social had amassed 200 000 members.

Of course, a large amount of sign-ups at launch does not mean that WT: Social has staying power and the real test will be how well it performs in the months to come.

With a clear focus on sharing accurate news from reliable sources we’re incredibly curious to see how well the site performs when it’s being used daily, assuming it does become part of a daily routine like Facebook and Twitter.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]