What is product at Wikia?

  • Who is the product team?
    • The product manager is an expert on the market (our users) and product. This person defines the product.
    • The product designer designs the experience (the interaction and how it looks). Design lead also works with the product manager and engineer on product discovery and definition.
    • Engineers develop the product. Engineering lead works with the product manager and design lead early and participate in discovery and definition.
    • Quality assurance tests the product and makes sure it looks and works like it’s supposed to.
    • The community manager represents the community needs, supports rollout, and gathers feedback.
    • The project manager facilitates, clears obstacles, and keeps the process moving.
  • What do the teams at Wikia work on?
    • Community Management: admin tools, permissions, groups, moderation
    • Social: discussions, profiles, account creation, content sharing, messaging
    • Platform and Ops: issues of scale (millions of pages of content delivered to people in 200+ different countries plus need to make sure it’s localized to the right countries), site performance, international needs
    • Mobile: works predominantly on apps. Mobile web should be every team’s responsibility.
    • Revenue generation: advertising and partnerships
    • Core product and content: Wiki creation and shaping, content creation, editing, and formatting

Community Management

  • The community team and product managers try to address the biggest needs in this area.
  • A lot of work is done responsive by nature but there is a forward looking roadmap
  • examples
    • Groups and permissions are not complete - wild project
    • tools for vstf and staff to revert bad edits
    • moderation tools to deal with bad edits and users
    • legality of content that we host - the DMCA process adherence/take down requests

Social features

  • this is an area Wikia did not prioritize for a few years, but we are working on ‘straightening up’
    • Sign up and login flow has been improved
    • Email systems have been rebuilt
    • We are looking at user profiles next
  • The new discussion experience
    • We do not intend to be a social network but a place for people who have shared interests to connect
    • We are working on a way to facilitate more active and engaging discussions for everyone, both contributors working together and casual fans who want to connect with other fans


  • A lot goes into running a platform that delivers nearly 40 millions of pages of customized content across nearly 340k different communities to 140 million unique visitors (per month) from over 240 different countries
  • Site has to load quickly
    • Respond to 3k http requests per second
    • Cut page download times in half since the beginning of 2014
    • Weathered 300+GB/sec sustained DDoS attacks


  • Community apps
    • Over 120 apps representing 540 different communities
    • Curation and customization capabilities for admins
    • The ability to quickly build new apps
    • New ‘mobile first’ and potentially app only features
  • Discussions
    • Main page curation
  • Data
    • Last 2 years, mobile apps usage has grown. It went from less than 100k to now 3m monthly users of apps

Revenue generation

  • Keeps the site running and funds our evolution of the product and platform
  • Digital advertising is rapidly evolving market
    • Programmatic, performance standards, pricing
    • international considerations (different ads to run in China, Russia, USA, etc)
    • Mobile - close to half our traffic is consumed on a mobile device and we have to invest to stay ahead of the curve
  • Good ads are our goal!
    • We are working to have high quality, relevant ads and programs
  • Today, a significant percentage of Wikia’s traffic blocks ads
    • Ad blocking in certain areas of the world is over 50% and this continues to increase
  • Without ads
    • Wikia would not exist and neither would some of your favorite sites like Facebook, Netflix, etc.

Core Product

  • In the process of making content more portable, we are building better contribution tools for users to complete the most common and important tasks
    • For example, portable infoboxes! We are making them easier to build and manage going forward while also making them portable.
  • Also working on tools to help admins and frequent contributors better assess and manage their content
    • Insights and flags
    • Curation tools
  • We are placing an emphasis on striking the best balance between the creativity and uniqueness of communities, the evolving ‘connected’ world, and reliability, security, and longevity of the platform.