Wikipedia:Growth Team features

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
To sign up to be a mentor, go to Special:EnrollAsMentor. See this page for more information.
Screenshot of suggested edits module in Czech Wikipedia

Research has shown that newcomers struggle to edit and continue editing Wikipedia because of three main challenges: technical, conceptual, and cultural. They currently do not have access to the resources they need to surmount those challenges. To give these things to newcomers, the WMF Growth team has built three interconnected features, described in more detail below:

  • Newcomer tasks and Structured tasks: a feed of task suggestions that help newcomers learn to edit. Newcomers have been making productive edits through this feed! Structured tasks are a potential new type of task that the team is considering.
  • Newcomer homepage: a special page that hosts the "newcomer tasks" and the ability to ask questions to a mentor.
  • Help panel: a platform to provide resources to newcomers while they are editing and the ability to ask questions to a mentor.

Some features are also available for experienced community members:

  • Community configuration: a special page where communities can change how Growth features work.
  • Mentorship features: a set of tools to match newcomers looking for advice with experienced editors ready to help.

These features are currently being deployed to 100% of new accounts created on English Wikipedia. See mw:Growth/FAQ#test for instructions on how to try the features.

In November 2020, we published results from a controlled experiment that showed that the Growth features statistically improve newcomer outcomes. Because of these results, we believe that all Wikipedias should consider adopting these features.

The features are currently available on over 300 Wikipedias. All of the features are available on both desktop and mobile. Though primarily built for newcomers, it is also possible for experienced users to turn them on and use them.

Once we started to expand to more wikis, we wanted to start talking about these features with English Wikipedia and ask for input. As said above, we are constantly iterating and developing. We hope English Wikipedia will take on these features fully, but before any deployments happen, we will make sure that we have built something that will work on this wiki, and that all deployments will be in line with the community's preferences. We know that English Wikipedia has many existing efforts to help newcomers, like the Teahouse and automated welcome messages. We would be sure to make sure our team's features work well alongside those.

As you read this page, please leave any questions, ideas, or reactions on the Talk page. You can also check the Growth FAQ. You can also join in more detailed discussions of the features and plans on Talk pages on You can also sign up for our team's newsletter here.

Background and results[edit]

This page gives a quick outline of the work of the WMF Growth team, which aims to increase the retention of new editors. The team has been working since July 2018, and primarily pilots experimental features in four Wikipedias: Czech, Bengali, Arabic, and Vietnamese. In 2021, we are continuing to iterate and develop the feature set, but we also know that we have already developed features that have a positive impact on new editors. For that reason, we are planning to deploy to more wikis during 2021. (Note: when we say "new editors" or "newcomers", we're talking about users who have newly created accounts – not anonymous editors.)

In an experiment with Arabic, Czech, Vietnamese, and Korean Wikipedias, we've seen that this set of experimental features prompts newcomers to be more engaged in the wiki and make early productive edits. Importantly, in addition to the statistical results below, communities have been having positive experiences with these features. No wikis that have begun using the Growth features have requested to turn them off.

Growth features increased activation (making a first article edit) and constructive activation (making a first unreverted article edit)

In order to understand the impact of Growth features, and specifically "newcomer tasks", we deployed the features in a controlled experiment. Some newcomers received the features (the treatment group) and some did not (the control group). The experiment lasted for six months.

In general, the analysis showed that the Growth features improve outcomes for newcomers. Below are the most important points.

  • Newcomers who get the Growth features are 11.6% more likely to make a first article edit (i.e. to be "activated").
  • Newcomers who get the Growth features are 26.7% more likely to make a first unreverted article edit.
  • We believe they are also more likely to be retained (i.e. come back and make another article edit on a different day).
  • The features also increase edit volume (i.e. number of edits) without reducing constructiveness (i.e. if edits are reverted).

We believe that these results confirm that the Growth features, in particular newcomer tasks, lead newcomers to edit more and lead newcomers to stay on the wiki for longer.

For more information on these experiment results, see this page on


As of March 2022, the features are deployed to all Wikipedias, with most of those wikis having 100% of new accounts receiving the features. On English Wikipedia, 100% of new accounts receive the features, with 50% of those also receiving the mentorship feature.[needs update]

Newcomer tasks[edit]

We are most excited about this feature, because it is prompting newcomers to make productive edits. This is a workflow that suggests articles to edit, shown to users via the "suggested edits module" on the newcomer homepage. Newcomers are able to choose from different types of edits (based on maintenance templates) and filter to topics of interest (based on ORES models). They then can choose from a feed of articles to work on. Once on an article, the help panel will provide guidance on how to complete the edit. Communities will be able to choose whether this workflow nudges newcomers toward the visual editor or the wikitext editor.

In 2021, the Growth team is building new editing workflows that are meant to be smaller and easier for newcomers to accomplish, especially from mobile devices. These are called "structured tasks". As of June 2021, we have deployed the first structured task for adding wikilinks to four Wikipedias (Arabic, Czech, Vietnamese, and Bengali). In it, an algorithm suggests to newcomers words or phrases that could be good wikilinks. We are also considering a structured task around adding images from Commons to Wikipedia articles. We hope community members can join discussions here about how to proceed with this work. You can also leave thoughts about the project on the talk page on this wiki, if you prefer.

Results so far

  • As of December 2021, 10,739 edits have been made through this workflow on English Wikipedia.
  • They are making copyedits, adding links, and sometimes adding new content with references.
  • About 13% of these edits on English Wikipedia are reverted, which is substantially lower than the usual revert rate of about 28% for newcomer edits on the wiki.
  • 33% of these users make 3 or more suggested edits.
  • 8% of these users make suggested edits on 3 or more days.

For more information about newcomer tasks, see this page on

Newcomer homepage[edit]

This special page hosts the newcomer tasks workflow, and contains other modules that give newcomers access to the most important things they need to see on their first day. After creating their account, newcomers see a popup (and some other notifications) encouraging them to visit their homepage, which is accessible through the link to their username along the top of their browser window. Though the team is still experimenting with different modules, here are modules that may appear on the homepage:

  • Start module: encourages users to do a tutorial, add or confirm their email address, and create a userpage.
  • Help module: lists links to commonly visited help pages.
  • Mentorship module: assigns each newcomer an experienced user, and gives an easy way to post questions to the mentor's talk page. Mentors volunteer to take part by signing up.
  • Impact module: shows newcomers the number of pageviews on each of the articles they have edited.
  • Suggested edits module: see "Newcomer tasks" above.

Results so far

  • The majority of newcomers visit their homepage, and many of them return to visit their homepage on subsequent days.
  • As of January 2022, 1,022 mentor questions have been asked so far on English Wikipedia.
  • The homepage controlled experiment showed that the homepage increases the number of newcomers who have confirmed email addresses. It also showed that newcomers tend to follow calls-to-action, such as the call to create their userpage or contact their mentor. It did not, however, show an increase in the number of newcomers who edit or return (this experiment was analyzed before newcomer tasks was deployed). NB: this is an analysis from 2020 that the Growth team has not yet posted in public. The team will likely prioritize posting more recent analyses before catching up on this one.

For more information about the newcomer homepage, see this page on

Help panel[edit]

This is a box that newcomers can open while they are editing. It does four things:

  • Guides newcomers while they do newcomer tasks.
  • Lists links to commonly visited help pages.
  • Allows newcomers to search for other help and policy pages.
  • Allows newcomers to ask a question to their mentor.

The help panel appears in both the wikitext and visual editors. When we deploy this feature, we make sure that a wiki's existing help desk (or Teahouse) will work with the features, and that experienced users watching the help desk are willing to receive the incoming questions.

Results so far

  • About 20% of newcomers who see the help panel open it up, and about 50% of those who open it up interact with it.
  • The help panel on its own did not show increases in newcomers editing or returning, but we have retained this feature because we will be using it to provide guidance as part of the promising newcomer tasks flow described above.

For more information about the help panel, see this page on

Community configuration[edit]

Communities can change how the Growth features work by editing Special:EditGrowthConfig. The Growth team advises to make configuration changes after a community discussion. Also, please inform us of your discussions when they happen, because we can help you on the issue you found, or assist you with the configuration. It is also very useful for us to know that you have that discussion, so that we can improve the features.


Mentorship features are a set of tools to match newcomers looking for advice, with experienced editors ready to help them.

Mentorship is activated at English Wikipedia. Volunteer mentors can sign up to be a mentor at Special:EnrollAsMentor, and then interact with the newcomers they are assigned to on Special:MentorDashboard. On this page mentors can configure their mentorship preferences, and, if needed, put themselves on pause or quit.

Please visit our FAQ for more information.


Wikitext userbox where used
{{User Growth Team features mentor}}
This user is a Mentor for new editors at the Wikipedia Growth Team.
linked pages
{{User mentor}}
Help Desk
This user is a mentor to new editors.
linked pages