Tech giant, Google is now going to start paying for its use of Wikipedia content to assist its knowledge panels in Google Search. The company, along with the digital library the Internet Archive, are the first clients for the new commercial product rolled out by the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that manages Wikipedia. Its new service, Wikimedia Enterprise, provides access to Wikipedia content to companies that reuse and source Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects at an increased magnitude.
Google For Years Has Used Wikipedia Content to Provide Quick Answers to Users
For years, the tech giant has utilized information from Wikipedia to offer web searchers quick answers and primary facts through the use of what it called knowledge panels, first launched in 2012. This feature extracts information from freely available online resources, including Wikipedia content, Google Books and other sources. Other tech giants have also leveraged Wikipedia’s information in their own products.
Moreover, the Wikimedia Enterprise service has been live for a year, servicing retail clients on an opt-in basis. However, it hadn’t disclosed its first clients until now. With Wikimedia Enterprise, clients of any size gain access to the service’s offerings comprising customer support and Service Level Agreements at prices based on their volume of use, much like any other product aimed at businesses.
Wikipedia is a Unique and Valuable Resource Created Freely for the World
The organization says the product is now covering its current operating costs and has an increasing list of users who are researching its use. “Wikipedia is a unique and valuable resource, created freely for the world by its dedicated volunteer community,” said Tim Palmer, managing director, Search Partnerships at Google.
He further stated about Wikipedia content, “We have long supported the Wikimedia Foundation in pursuit of our shared goals of expanding knowledge and information access for people everywhere. We look forward to deepening our partnership with Wikimedia Enterprise, further investing in the long-term sustainability of the foundation and the knowledge ecosystem it continues to build.”