Get Wikipedia articles via SMS in the coming months
Wikipedia is easily one of the most valuable resources on the internet and it's about to get better for more people in the world.
Wikipedia has a huge market in developing countries with inconsistent internet connectivity, and it's about to release a new service for these underserved communities. In what could bring about a revolution in accessing information, Wikipedia is going to let users request specific topics through SMS or another standard called USSD. The article will then be delivered to the phones within seconds, with the work being funded by a $6,000,000 grant from the Knight Foundation.
Kul Takanao Wadhwa, head of mobile for Wikimedia Foundation laid out the plans for service in a blog post on Friday:
"We’re very excited about delivering Wikipedia via text, which we expect to roll out within the next few months. With the program, users will send a text request to Wikipedia and, within seconds, they will get the article to their phone."
There has been a continuous push from the Wikimedia foundation to facilitate better access to Wikipedia from so-called 'dumb phone' owners. This is a further improvement over its existing "Wikipedia Zero" service working in Russia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa among other regions.