Wikipedia adds page previews to stop you falling down a link-clicking rabbit hole

Page preview on Wikipedia

Wikipedia has added a new feature that'll stop you getting distracted and clicking through reams of pages that have nothing to do with your original search.

Page previews are small overlays that appear when you move your mouse over a link, and contain a small image plus the page's intro text – just enough to help you decide whether it's worth investigating further. Clicking the preview will take you to the page, and moving your mouse away will dismiss it.

It's possible to disable page previews if you find them annoying (or really love random trivia), but the Wikimedia Foundation claims that in its tests, the number of people doing so are "negligibly low".

To click, or not to click

In a blog post, the Foundation said that the overall number of page views has dropped as a result of previews, but it's not worried. By mousing over links, people are learning more, and that's what matters.

"We hope this change will lead to a Wikipedia that is easier to explore, and perhaps even easier to learn from," it said. "We expect to [see more} iterations and more improvements to the feature and the desktop experience more broadly to come. In other words, we’re pretty excited about this."

The Foundation has rolled previews out to all of the site's language editions, although they're currently only available for desktop. It's not clear how a similar system might work on mobile devices,

Via The Verge