Elaborative SWOT Analysis of Wikipedia – A Free Online Encyclopedia

Updated on: Feb 20, 2022
SWOT Analysis of Wikipedia - Featured Image

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

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Previously we had written about SWOT Analysis of APAR Industries. Here, we will take a closer look at the SWOT Analysis of Wikipedia.

In the present year 2021, Wikipedia is the world’s 3rd most visited site. Wikipedia is ranked 13th among the world’s most popular websites by the Economist publication. The company offers its information for free and does not display advertisements.

Wikipedia is the largest information encyclopedia in the world, with over 6.3 million articles in the English language. Wikipedia marketing for Digital Marketers is a good platform as well as a valuable business, with Wikipedia being the most favoured source of knowledge in the current environment. To know more about ongoing marketing scenarios ‚Äst join Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by Karan Shah who is the CEO and Founder of IIDE.¬†

Let us jump onto the deep description of Wikipedia and learn more about how it managed to survive with all the challenges, opportunities through its strength with the help of SWOT analysis. Before we get started, let’s have a look at Wikipedia itself, its history, services it provides, present position, and competitors. 

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About Wikipedia,

SWOT Analysis of Wikipedia - Wikipedia

Wikipedia was started in 1994 by Ward Cunningham with the idea of creating a new website model named ‚ÄúWiki‚ÄĚ. It allowed users to edit and create information on the site in real-time. On January 15, 2001, Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales paved the way for Wikipedia. Wikipedia‚Äôs headquarters are in San Francisco, California. Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia available online. It is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the United States.¬†

Since 2003 Wikipedia has grown to include 10 million articles in 260 languages and 2,947,213 in the English language alone. Wikipedia has however drastically affected how we access and share information on the internet. 

Unfortunately, Wikipedia had fallen to eleventh place in the world for global internet engagement by February 2020. The coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic issue on Wikipedia, as well as the accompanying modifications, discussions, and even removals, were believed to be a significant resource for future historians looking to learn more about the period.

Moreover, Wikipedia has won the Free Software Award Projects of Social Benefit in 2005 Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in the year 2015.

Quick Stats on Wikipedia
Founder Jimmy Wales and Lary Sanger
Year Founded 2001
Origin San Francisco, California
No. of Employees 550+
Company Type Public
Market Cap N/A
Annual Revenue $91 Million
Net Income/ Profit N/A



SWOT Analysis of Wikipedia - About Wikipedia Page

Services by Wikipedia

Academic reference materials, a dictionary, references, novels, manuals, a travelling companion, a media group, and a storage system are just some of the resources available. Wikipedia as a free encyclopedia provides services in 3 types of diversified groups: 

  • Business services
  • Social Services
  • Personal Services

Competitors of Wikipedia

Wikipedia is an open-source free online encyclopedia that contains entries on a wide range of topics. Its top main competitors are

  • Cappex
  • Teach.com
  • edX¬†
  • Apps for Good

Now that we know important facts about Wikipedia, we can look into the SWOT analysis of Wikipedia. 

SWOT Analysis of Wikipedia 

A SWOT analysis examines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that a firm faces. SWOT Analysis is a tried-and-true tool that enables a company like Wikipedia to compare its business and performance to that of its competitors.

It will give us a strategic analysis of its internal and external environment, which is crucial for understanding the SWOT Analysis of Wikipedia.

To better understand the SWOT analysis of Wikipedia, refer to the infographics below:

SWOT Analysis of Wikipedia - SWOT Infographics of Wikipedia

Below is an explicit guide to the SWOT analysis of Wikipedia.

Strengths of Wikipedia

Wikipedia has numerous strengths that help it to thrive in the marketplace. Some of the strengths of Wikipedia are

  • A Large User Database: Wikipedia has more than 1.7 billion monthly visitors with 360,754 active users on the website, and 94,368,279 persons who have registered on the company‚Äôs platform. The popularity and strength can be demonstrated by the enormous number of users.
  • Source of Content: At the end of each article, Wikipedia offers a complete list of all external links so that scholars and readers can double-check the information from other sources.¬†¬†
  • Offers that are Integrated: Wikipedia‚Äôs core services include Wikiversity, Wikibooks, Wiktionary, and many others. It indicates that its service portfolio has been divided into multiple categories and does not rely on a single service.
  • Access Editing: According to Time Magazine in 2006, Wikipedia‚Äôs open-door edit policy is one of its fundamental features. It demonstrates Wikipedia‚Äôs management adaptability and willingness to learn and correct mistakes.

Weaknesses of Wikipedia

Weaknesses are aspects of a business or brand that can be worked upon. Here are some of the weaknesses of Wikipedia:

  • Issue of Authenticity and Duplicity: Many people believe that Wikipedia‚Äôs information is not replicated and that it is biased and deceptive towards some groups. It does not provide you with a complete picture or both sides of the story as it has various editors from all around the world.
  • The Controversial Topics: According to a Guardian investigation from 2014, the platform has a more extensive reference list about female porn stars than accomplished female writers with an unbalanced distribution of subjects in different categories. Specific categories have more thorough information than the rest.
  • Technology Language: Many people have stated that some Wikipedia pages contain technical jargon and professional jargon. Ordinary readers will find it challenging to completely grasp the notion. It is suggested that the language be user-friendly.
  • Inconsistent Entries: Maximum possibility of jumbled, duplicated, or inconsistent entries as Wikipedia itself does not guarantee its accuracy.

Opportunities for Wikipedia

Though it has many weaknesses, on the other hand, Wikipedia has many opportunities. 

  • Access to Editing: As it is already mentioned above, it has an open-door editing policy, allowing anyone to openly correct the information. To provide correct material to users, the platform should now expand editorial and verification access to additional people.
  • Expansion of the Moderator: Wikipedia has over 6.3 million articles, all of which need to be updated on a regular basis. On the other hand, it has a small number of moderators and administrators, about 1112 to be exact. To manage the contents, it needs to have additional moderators and administrators.
  • Compatibility with Platforms: Wikipedia should create partnerships with other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Forbes, LinkedIn, and others. It means that if any of those sites have to advise their users on something, they will direct them to Wikipedia. It would boost the platform‚Äôs traffic even further.
  • Detailed Information: Since Wikipedia has its presence at the international level with different moderators it is integrated with various information resources to increase detailed content.

Threats to Wikipedia

Threats have the potential to cause harm to a company. Some of the threats of Wikipedia are:

  • Sources of Information Obtainment: Wikipedia typically draws information from a variety of sources, including mainstream television, newspapers, and magazines. Many people have questioned the reliability and authenticity of Wikipedia‚Äôs sources. It‚Äôs because each news channel and publication has its agenda, which might lean right or left.
  • Competitors: Over the last decade, a slew of new independent and niche-focused portals has emerged. They specialize in a single field and publish the work of professionals and experts in that field. Some people now prefer to read their content rather than Wikipedia‚Äôs.
  • Content Sources that Lead to Misinformation: When a source website publishes false information about anything else, users are less likely to trust Wikipedia‚Äôs sources.
  • Potential Concerns: Wikipedia‚Äôs survival, accessibility, reach, overall quality, content span, and perseverance have all been identified as potential concerns.

This ends our elaborative SWOT analysis of Wikipedia. Let us conclude our learning below.

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To Conclude

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, became the most popular source of knowledge very immediately after its launch. As a result, site researchers were spared the task of sifting through Google’s million search results. 

Wikipedia has been used as a marketing tool for quite some time now. Established brands have a Wikipedia presence, which has aided in their popularity. A question that arises is how can Wikipedia be used by marketers as a digital marketing tool? Check out IIDE’s 3 Month Advanced Online Digital Marketing Course to learn how to execute Wikipedia marketing strategies that digital marketers must be using.

We hope this blog on the SWOT Analysis of Wikipedia has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

If you enjoy in-depth company research just like the SWOT analysis of Wikipedia, check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and do share your thoughts on this case study of the SWOT analysis of Wikipedia in the comments section below.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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