The Wikimedia Foundation, parent organization of the collaborative online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has found the first corporate customers for its Wikimedia Enterprise product, launched last year, which aims to make profitable commercial use of its vast repository of information and ensure the sustainability of the foundation whose survival depends essentially on donations.
The non-profit web page archiving initiative Internet Archive and the giant Google are the first two organizations to subscribe to Wikimedia’s business services, the first for free, the second for undisclosed amounts.
Several companies already use Wikipedia data, and Google does so in particular in search results that are displayed directly on its site, rather than redirecting Internet users to another web page. Wikimedia Enterprise is something of a premium offering for faster and better access to foundation data.
This announcement does not change anything for the general public, who will continue to have access to all Wikimedia Foundation initiatives for free, according to the foundation’s statement. Wikimedia wishes to remain mainly financed by donations.
Google has not yet indicated how this news could affect the experience of Internet users in its interfaces.