The current, rebranded WattPad Logo. (2018 & 2019-present)
|Type of business||Private|
Type of site
|Reading app, social networking service|
|Available in||English, other 49 available languages. (actual count of: 32 languages)|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Alexa rank||497 (February 2019[update])|
|Registration||Required to create and modify books & stories, comment or reply and follow users, unlock Next Beta participating stories.|
|Native client(s) on||Android, iOS, Web.|
Wattpad is an Internet community for readers and writers to publish new user-generated stories in different genres, including classics, general fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, poetry, fanfiction, spiritual, humor, and teen fiction. It aims to create social communities around stories for both amateur and established writers.
The platform claims to have an audience of more than 70 million users, who can directly interact with the writers and share their opinions with fellow readers. Although available in over 50 languages, 77% of its content is written in English. A number of Wattpad users are translating stories to continue to build the platform.
History and founder
Wattpad originated in 2006, as the result of a collaboration between Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. Their current headquarters, as of 2019, was based in Toronto, Canada.
Growth and funding
In February 2007, Wattpad announced the addition of over 17,000 e-books from Project Gutenberg making them available to mobile users. According to a June 2009 Wattpad press release, the mobile application had been downloaded over 5 million times. In March 2009, an iPhone version was released. This was followed by the launch on BlackBerry App World in April 2009, Google Android in June 2009 and Apple iPad in April 2010. In December 2015, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile Version was released. Currently, Wattpad has more than 65 million users who as part of the Wattpad community collectively spend 15 billion minutes each month using Wattpad. As of 2018 Wattpad there are more than 400 million story uploads on Wattpad.
As of January 2018, Wattpad had received almost USD $117.8M in funding from investors. In 2011, Wattpad announced that it received $3.5M in total funding from its current investors, and from W Media Ventures, Golden Venture Partners, and Union Square Ventures." Then in June 2012, Wattpad raised $17.3M from a group of venture funds led by Khosla Ventures.
In April 2014, Wattpad announced $46M in Series C funding led by OMERS ventures. In January 2018, Wattpad announced USD $51M in funding from Tencent Holdings Limited, BDC, Globe Telecom's Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Group, Canso, and existing investor Raine.
In December 2011, Toronto-based Wattpad was selected as the hottest Digital Media company in the country at the Canadian Innovation Exchange. In the same year, co-founder and CEO Ivan Yuen was also recognized as a top Canadian entrepreneur at the Impact Infused Awards, sponsored by Deloitte.
Wattpad in the Philippines
In March 2014, Wattpad signed a contract with Pop Fiction, an imprint of Summit Media, to print Filipino Wattpad stories in the Philippines. Other publishers from the Philippines also publish stories from Wattpad.
Since then, some Wattpad stories have also been adapted into teleseries. Filipino television network TV5, in partnership with Wattpad and Life is Beautiful Publishing Company launched Wattpad Presents, a series of Wattpad stories turned into TV dramas. Wattpad stories aired on the show are usually those that were published by LIB Publishing.
ABS-CBN also made several adaptation of Wattpad stories such as "My App Boyfie" by Noreen Capili (noringai), starring James Reid and Nadine Lustre, and the coming-of-age series Bagito starring Nash Aguas, Alexa Ilacad and Ella Cruz. Pop Fiction's best-selling book, "She's Dating the Gangster", written by Bianca Bernardino (SGWannaB) as a Wattpad original, became the first Wattpad story adapted into a full-length motion picture starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. The movie adaptation was produced by ABS-CBN's film production arm, Star Cinema. Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil also starred on the film "Just The Way You Are", based on the Wattpad story "The Bet" by Ilurvbooks. "Chasing Red" was published by a Wattpad user which got more than 200 million views.
Wattpad After Dark
In February 2015, Wattpad launched a second standalone app called "After Dark". The app focuses specifically on the romance genre and is intended for adult readers.
On February 21, 2017, Wattpad launched a chat stories app called Tap. Tap offers stories in the form of text messages as if reading a private conversation on someone else's phone. The app was an early success, with over 240 million taps in the first few weeks after the launch. On July 28, 2017, Tap launched 'Tap Originals', a series of original stories produced by its top-tier writers every single week, with some of those series working on an episode-by-episode basis. Some of Tap's most successful original series include HIDE, The Babysitter and Charlie, Charlie.
Wattpad Next Beta
On November 13, 2018, Wattpad Next Beta was launched to selected countries for early testing such as United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, and the Philippines. The launch of the Next Beta have over 50 exclusively selected stories to be paid with WattPad Coins, that can be earned by having your reader spend Wattpad Coins to show them support or by purchasing them with real-world currency to unlock participating Next Beta stories. This was been launched to create a way for writers to earn money through their work and to provide support for readers. WattPad has planned a fast-follow launch for Wattpad Next (Beta) in Spanish-speaking regions and to expand the program, which will be available globally in 2019.
As of January 2019:
- 85% of its traffic and usage comes from mobile devices,
- the site has 70 million monthly users,
- there are over 565 million story uploads in total,
- there are over 4 million users.
- 70% of users are female. 80% of whom are millennials or Gen Z.
The most frequently voted stories appear on the "What's Hot List". According to the profiles visible on the site, many of these authors are teenagers.
Wattpad section also has a Featured Story list, which promotes content reviewed and approved by staff and an editorial review board. Many of these featured stories are written by self-published and professional writers from different genres. Lately famous authors like Margaret Atwood, Paulo Coelho and R L Stine have also joined the professional bandwagon of authors currently active on wattpad. Wattpad also encourages the writers to interact with their audience and promote their stories across social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Wattpad hosts a number of writing contests each year, including the annual Watty Awards, the largest writing competition in the world. In 2011, The Watty Awards introduced three entry levels (Popular, On The Rise, and Undiscovered) to allow greater chances of winning for every type of writer. Contests are open to anyone who has a Wattpad account.
During the summer of 2012, Wattpad in collaboration with Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet/novelist/literary critic, held the "Wattys": the first major poetry contest offering a chance to poets on Wattpad to compete against each other in one of two categories, either as an "Enthusiast" or a "Competitor". It has been going ever since, and now the contest is open to books of all genres.
Wattpad has formed ties with publishing houses to try and help Wattpad authors to receive compensation for their works. A new branch, Wattpad Studios, was developed to connect popular writers to both the publishing and film industries. Wattpad has, in the past, teamed up with publishing groups such as Sourcebooks to help Wattpad authors receive book deals, and get their work into hard copies. More traditional publishing houses such as Random House and HarperCollins have approached popular Wattpad writers to negotiate publishing deals, allowing the website to serve as a springboard into the more traditional publishing industry.
Author Anna Todd, whose work After has received over a billion reads on the site, was given a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster to turn her online work into a multiple-book published saga. A film version starring Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Selma Blair, Jennifer Beals, Peter Gallagher, and Shane Paul McGhie will be released by Aviron Pictures on April 12, 2019.
Netflix sensation The Kissing Booth was written in 2011 by author Beth Reekles. It originated as a story on Wattpad where it won a Watty Award for "Most Popular Teen Fiction" in Wattpad's annual writing contest. By 2012 it had amassed over 19 million reads on Wattpad and, in 2013, was published by Penguin Random House. In an interview with Forbes, Reekles explains what drew her to Wattpad: "I loved the feeling of community on the site, and when I began to share, I liked the anonymity of it because I was so self-conscious about my writing and hadn't shared it with anyone before."
Since The Kissing Booth premiered on Netflix on May 11, 2018, Ted Sarandos called it "one of the most-watched movies in the country, and maybe in the world". The Kissing Booth was the fourth most-popular movie in IMDB's popularity rankings in June 2018. Wattpad has also inked deals with Asian distribution partners. Wattpad recently announced a deal with iflix to co-produce dozens of original movies based on Wattpad stories out of Indonesia.
Wattpad, AwesomenessTV, produces Hulu's popular Light as a Feather
Early in its history, some of the large volume of user-uploaded material hosted on Wattpad was copyrighted material created by authors who did not grant republication rights. In May 2009, an article in 'The New York Times' noted, "Sites like Scribd and Wattpad, which invite users to upload documents like college theses and self-published novels, have been the target of industry grumbling in recent weeks, as illegal reproductions of popular titles have turned up on them".
The Wattpad website notes, "We do not welcome upload of material that violate its copyright terms," but also states "it is simply not possible to screen and verify all posted content." In response to industry criticism, in April 2009 (before the publication of the New York Times article that named Wattpad as a vehicle for user-generated e-book infringement) Wattpad announced an "Authors In Charge" program, designed to allow authors or their representatives to identify and directly remove infringing content from the site, but this program is designed specifically for "authors with published books for sale." Authors may begin their stories on Wattpad and then chose to publish their work. In most cases, the work on Wattpad is only a sample to insure funds going to them in regards to their writing.
Competitors and similar sites
Bookmate and the long-established and popular sites FanFiction.Net and Fiction Press (a spin-off site for original fiction) also serve as hubs for online prose. An alternative site which is free and open source is Archive of Our Own, or AO3, although some will publish a chapter on AO3, indicating the rest is on Wattpad. Similar occurrences are seen on Wattpad when authors start a book and finish it on a different platform.
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