Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is launching a social-media website called WT: Social. The platform aims to compete with Facebook and Twitter, except instead of funding it using advertising, Wales is taking a page from the Wikipedia playbook and financing it through user donations.
The business model of social media companies, of pure advertising, is problematic," Wales told Financial Times. "It turns out the huge winner is low-quality content."
WT: Social got its start as Wikitribune, a site that published original news stories with the community fact-checking and sub-editing articles. The venture never really gained much traction, so Wales is moving it to the new platform with a more social networking focus.
The site will still post articles, but instead of giving content with the most "Likes" priority, its algorithms will list the newest stories first. However, the founder is open to adding an "upvote" feature similar to Reddit's down the road.
Wales says that he hopes to nurture niche groups, which are sometimes censored or removed by Facebook and Twitter. However, this does not mean people can post whatever they want without fear of removal. Wales does not want it to devolve into a network of hate.
Currently, WT: Social has about 50,000 users, and it only went live a month ago. The platform will be free to join, but right now, users signing up are put on a "short" waiting list unless they donate or invite friends to register.
Obviously the ambition is not 50,000 or 500,000 but 50m and 500m," Wales stated.
Source: Kazinform News Agency
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