Wikipedia co-founder launches social network without ads or clickbait
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launched the WT: Social, a social media platform with no ads or misleading publication headlines as the Financial Times first reported.
WT: Social is a continuation of the Wikitribune website, created to “fight fake news.” The site was launched in 2017 after it raised money through crowdfunding but could not attract a large enough audience, the newspaper notes. Wales himself called the new project a "crazy experiment."
The site’s users can exchange links and discuss various topics in the newsfeed similar to that of Facebook. There will be no advertising on the social network as the site plans to get revenue through user donations. The social media platform has already been issued donations by more than 200 people.
Unlike Facebook’s or Twitter’s algorithms, the WT: Social system will show materials in a chronological order, rather than first showing publications that have received more likes. In the future, the social network plans to add a button that will allow users to recommend articles that they think are of high quality.
Currently users can join the social network only through invitation or by making a donation to support the project: US$12.99 per month or US$100 per year.
WT: Social expects to develop niche communities on its platform. Also, most content on the site is editable by all users tool that is similar to what is used in Wikipedia. The company currently employs several people, including developers.
According to Wales, since the October launch of WT: Social, the site’s user base has grown to 50 thousand people. However, Wales expects 50-500 million users. He promises that the social network will not transfer user data to any third parties.