Wales announced in a blog posting that slow traffic and disappointing returns have led the firm to discontinue the search service.
Designed as a 'user-generated' search engine, Wikia Search allowed users to rate results in an effort to further refine results for future queries. The idea was to create a user-powered and peer-reviewed search engine in a method similar to that of Wikipedia.
However, Wales said that the public had not taken to the engine as warmly as the online encyclopedia, and that he would be discontinuing the project in order to save money amid the harsh economy.
"While I personally believe in the opportunity for free software to make serious inroads into the search space, our project, Wikia Search, has not been enjoying the kind of success that we had hoped," wrote Wales.
"In a different economy, we would continue to fund Wikia Search indefinitely. It's something I care about deeply. I will return to again and again in my career to search, either as an investor, a contributor, a donor or a cheerleader."
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