|Type of business Private|
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Allen Lau Ivan Yuen
|Headquarters Toronto, Canada|
Owner WP Technology, Inc.
|Type of site Reading app, Social networking service|
Wattpad is an online storytelling community where users post written works such as articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems, either through the website or the mobile app. The user-generated content is submitted by writers of all levels who are given an equal chance to write popular works. Users are able to comment and like stories or join groups associated with the website. Around half of the users are US based; other users come from the UK, Canada, the Philippines, Australia, Russia, Libya, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, India and other countries.
Wattpad originated in 2006, as the result of a collaboration between Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen.
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 is being used by more than 45 million people.
Growth and funding
To date, Wattpad has received almost $70M 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, which is an early investor in "Twitter, Tumblr and other social-media success stories." Then in June 2012, Wattpad raised $17.3M from a group of venture funds led by Khosla Ventures.
The latest round of financing happened in April 2014, where Wattpad announced $46M in Series C funding led by OMERS ventures.
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 numerous 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.
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 for readers 17+.
As of April 2014:
New authors and teens
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. Latest updated version of Wattpad help the writers to promote their stories through other social media websites.
Wattpad holds several smaller contests a year and one major one. The largest is the annual Watty Awards. The second largest is Just Write It. 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.
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 as publishing deal with Simon & Sheuster to turn her online work into a multiple-book published saga, and Paramount purchased rights to the story to develop a film based on the novels.
Genres of Books
Wattpad is not necessarily a site/app for serious or professional books to be created, however there are a few. Most of the more thought-out books are dramas or things of the sort. But most of all, there are fan-fictions. There is mixed liking of this, but the most grossly made genre of book are fan-fictions and roleplays.
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."
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.