Wikipedia Zero, the online encyclopedia’s attempt to offer free mobile access to Wikipedia in developing countries has made its official entry into India. The arrival of the programme is in partnership with Aircel across the country.
“It is our mission to provide free access to knowledge for everyone in the world. It’s only fitting then that today we announced our first Wikipedia Zero partnership launch in India, the world’s second most populous country with over 1.2 billion people,” wrote Amit Kapoor, Senior Manager, Mobile Partnerships, Wikimedia Foundation in a blog post.
Aircel customers get to access Wikipedia for free
Kapoor wrote that Wikimedia’s partnership with Aircel will give 60 million mobile subscribers the ability to access Wikipedia at no data cost in the country, pushing the global partnership footprint of Wikipedia Zero up to 470 million subscribers.
What must be noted here is that the programme works with the mobile web version of Wikipedia and not the applications. If you’re an Aircel customer, you can head on to m.wikipedia.org, or zero.wikipedia.org (make sure you're accessing the latter site through your phone) to be able to access the online encyclopedia for no charge at all.
Wikimedia has made another Wikipedia-related announcement too – you will now be able to edit the encyclopedia and sister projects on-the-go from your phones. The foundation had been experimenting with letting users edit entries using their mobile phones, and the feature is now finally out of the beta stage.
“Wikipedia’s quality content is built by ordinary people all over the world watching and editing articles every day. Anyone with a computer can edit, but with over 15 percent of our users accessing Wikipedia on mobile devices and growing, the Wikimedia Foundation had to do more to let anyone with Internet access contribute to the sum of all human knowledge,” wrote Juliusz Gonera, Software engineer, mobile web at Wikimedia in a blog post.
Check for the pencil icon to edit Wikipedia using your phones
To edit an article, you will first need to make sure you have signed up for a Wikimedia account. After you log in, you can look for the pencil icon next to any section and click on it to make changes to it. The foundation will be looking to learn how users edit sections and will work on adding more features like Visual Editor integration in further releases.