We wanted to take a moment to update you all about a reader-focused
feature called Page Previews, which has also been popular as a Beta
Feature among editors. [0] [1] The Readers web team at the Wikimedia
Foundation has been working on a few things we’d like to share. [2]
Most recently we:

* Deployed the new HTML endpoint for generating previews, leading to
better rendering of preview content (math equations work, more
predictable formatting of information in parentheses, etc.) [3]
* Completed two A/B tests on English and German Wikipedias. [4] The
results displayed a decrease in pageviews, but an overall increase in
the number of pages readers interact with, indicating that they are
more likely to explore a larger variety of topics when the feature is
on. We also noted decreased usage of the back button and very low
rates of disabling the feature. These experiments built on earlier
qualitative and quantitive testing of the feature. [5]

Other improvements:

* Addressed and fixed many bugs [6]
* Refactored the code (that's fancy developer-speak of restructuring
the code to be more performant and stable) [7]
* Made sure Page Previews do not interfere with the functionality of
Navigation Popups
** As both can not be run simultaneously, users of Nav popups will
need to disable the gadget in order to try out Page Previews.
* Reviewed feedback from readers across the web [8] [9] [10] [11]

If you haven’t already, you can enable the feature in your preferences
under Appearance. [12] Feedback on how things are working for you is
welcome. The HTML endpoint change was deployed just last week and
we’re very excited to see the improvements. We’re expecting some
smaller bugs and edge cases, so please let us know if you notice
something out of order. You can find out more about the feature on
MediaWiki.org. [13]

[0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:MyLanguage/Page_Previews
[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Beta_Features
[2] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Reading/Web/Team
[3] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T113094
[4] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Page_Previews/2017-18_A/B_Tests
[6] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/board/765/query/jJ.50s_0Xlq9/
[7] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T149801
[8] https://twitter.com/torresromain/status/904357789006364673
[9] https://twitter.com/xtoq/status/903276948641771522
[10] https://twitter.com/lsinger/status/903170252636377088
[12] https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering
[13] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:MyLanguage/Page_Previews

Thank you,
Chris Koerner
Community Liaison
Wikimedia Foundation

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