File Image: IOL

CAPE TOWN - In a blog post, Wikipedia has announced that it will be shutting down its zero-costing data program called Wikipedia Zero. 

Launched in 2012, Wikipedia Zero was used to allow users in regions with high data costs to access the service for free.

This was possible through partnerships between Wikipedia and certain mobile carrier providers. 

The company said there are reasons for shutting down the site. Since 2016, Wikipedia has seen a drop in interest for the program and participation. 

Due to the cost of data becoming more affordable, more users can access the service without needing the free service. 

A lack of awareness of the service was also an issue and a major factor as to why they didn't receive enough participation. 

 Additionally, the company added that it will form no new carrier partnerships and existing alliances will expire. 

“To create all the world’s knowledge, we need participation from the world. However, we know that there are many barriers to making this vision a reality, data affordability being just one", the company said in a blog post. 

“We look forward to continuing to explore, evaluate, and measure the impact of our partnership opportunities and more as we build for the future of Wikimedia". 

Although Wikipedia Zero is shutting down, the company says it will be exploring new ways to make its service available to all. 

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