Hi all --
I'm going to try to address as many of the issues mentioned in this thread
and the Phabricator ticket as I can. I'm going to preface this by
explaining why we're doing this.
First of all, this is only a test in order to increase our understanding of
how our readers interact with our content. It's limited to a relatively
small but representative sample of our readers and is not permanent. The
results of this test will inform our mobile strategy.
I'd also like to offer that in our community strategic consultation,
mobile and apps was the single most commented upon topic, including many
comments that we should build an app.
1. We're moving people from an open platform to a closed platform: I think
this is an oversimplification of the situation -- as has been noted before,
the android app is 100% open source and while the data is not, in my
opinion, comprehensive, it's inarguable that a large percentage of mobile
traffic on the internet is from apps. It's not possible to fulfill our
mission if Wikipedia and sister project content is not available in
widely used channels.
2. The campaign was not publicized before launch: We notified the Finnish
community on their Village pump before the campaign began and the
campaign is detailed on the central notice page. We felt this was
appropriate considering the scope of the test.
3. Banners/Interstitials don't work/suck/etc: There's a difference between
a forced install and letting users know that an app exists and our
designers have worked hard to make the banners effective without being
excessively intrusive. You can see the designs on the Phab ticket above. I
don't generally place a great deal of faith in blog posts or other
company's data -- the google study showing the ineffectiveness of
interstitials has already been challenged by other similarly reputable
sources [7,8]. For this and other reasons, I believe that we need to gather
our own data.
4. We don't understand what success looks like: We are planning a meeting
with our Research team to assess the statistical validity of our
results, but the basic question is if users read more content using the app
than the mobile web. This information will help guide us on future product
decisions and will be shared with the community.
On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 8:21 AM, Tilman Bayer <tbayer(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 8:10 PM, Oliver Keyes
What was the publicising of the campaign prior to its launch?
It should be pretty apparent to people with experience within the
movement that this would be both entirely novel and pretty
As mentioned on the Phabricator ticked, this is by no means the first
banner campaign inviting installation of an app.
In June/July last year, there was a global campaign announcing the
launch of the new Android app (like now, shown on mobile web for
Android devices only):
(also ran in a few other languages besides English)
I don't recall it being controversial back then.
And in 2013, the late Commons app was promoted in a similar campaign
on desktop and mobile:
(on desktop Wikipedia)
(mobile Wikipedia on Android devices)
I'd expect some amount of transparency around
phabricator ticket is not, in and of itself, transparency).
For those not familiar with the existing processes around banners, WMF
staff and community members who use this indeed highly prominent space
have been coordinating for years on this page:
Quite a lot of people who care about banner use are watching it for
controversial or problematic uses
), discussion happens on the talk page there or is escalated to other
I see that the current banners were indeed listed there last week
before the launch.
contrast, with search when we make /experimental/ modifications to the
user experience of a tiny sample (through A/B testing) we not only
list those changes in phabricator but also send explicit mailing list
announcements - and those effect a smaller chunk of our user base on a
Perhaps you could post some advice at
about how people
running banners could learn from the WMF Discovery team in that
On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 8:30 AM, Ori Livneh <ori(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
The links don't work for me (maybe because I'm not in Finland right
now); you can append "force=1" to make them show regardless of
IRC (Freenode): HaeB
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