Wattpad’s Writer’s Hub demystifies the art of social storytelling

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Storytelling is evolving – social tools, mobile technology, and story serialization can turn a single chapter into a viral hit. This presents an opportunity so large that it can leave new and established writers wondering, how do I start?

With this question in mind, the Wattpad team crafted a visual experience that guides writers through essential moments for new, established, and aspiring writers. You can experience the Wattpad Writer’s Hub for yourself here.

Like our writers, we’ve crafted this story to engage and activate the imagination. The page showcases, step-by-step, the elements and features that any writer can use to stand out.

Wattpad Stars are influencers. They’re published authors featured in major press outlets, their works become screen adaptations and major brands commission their stories,” says Ashleigh Gardner, Wattpad’s Head of Writer and Publisher Partnerships.“The Writer’s Hub page provides a crash-course for anyone who wants to reach that level.”

Our creative team pushed the boundaries of this design so that users are inspired by the writer’s journey. Through responsive animation and scrolling effects, the Writer’s Hub brings the Wattpad community experience to life.

3 BIG reasons why storytelling is crucial to your brand

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This post is written by Candice Faktor, Head of Business at Wattpad. 

Storytelling is universal and can transcend language, race, gender and socioeconomic barriers. Humans have exchanged stories long before the formation of written language or the invention of the book. They are integral to who we are, how we express ourselves, as well as our collective experience of life and our relation to each other.

Does your brand use storytelling to create emotional brand impact? If not, here’s 3 reasons why you might want to reconsider:

Stories are Human
Stories are something that we can all relate to. Brands need to move away from hard sells and towards emotional connections. The humanization of your brand through storytelling is what provides people with an experience and an emotion to attach to. Without a story there is no element of human touch, no emotional impact, and nothing to relate to. Stories are inherently human and should be a big part of your brand expression.

Stories Shape Opinion
Stories have a lasting impact on people and help shape their opinions of the world around them. People’s opinions of brands change significantly when they hear about social good, recall a memorable campaign with a great story, or when a peer shares a positive story about their own experience with a brand.

The stories shared about your brand (both by you and others) have a strong impact on how you are perceived in the world. Brand affinity is what drives influence, loyalty, and sales. You don’t just want them to know about you. You want them to love you.

Stories Stay With You
Great stories are powerful and stay with you. The more relatable they are, the more likely they are to have significant impact. Stories provide the opportunity to create emotional impact in a meaningful way, and they are the culmination of creativity, experience, and emotion.  You remember great stories long after they’ve been told. They stay with you. This is why stories are excellent at driving brand affinity and awareness. People love stories.

We are living in the post-traditional-advertising era. People don’t have time or patience for obtrusive advertising anymore. They want to be inspired, engaged, and moved by great stories and by content that is entertaining, meaningful, and fun!

There is a way to do this gracefully, because Stories grow your brand.

To engage teens on Valentine’s Day, Sour Patch Kids created a campaign with Wattpad where Sour then Sweet Love stories were first created by popular Wattpad authors.  A consumer contest to submit more original stories followed.  By having the Sour then Sweet narrative come through the voice of active community writers, the brand came off as more authentic and garnered high engagement and response from consumers.  In a few short weeks, more than 3MM minutes were spent engaging with the brand on the platform and the stories were read over 800K times.

Wattpad works with with leading brands to create entertainment that connects and inspires our growing community of over 40 million people.

Stories go viral with Wattpad’s Quote Art feature

Over 35 million quotes shared using the exclusive feature

The right words can stop you in your tracks. We return to beautifully written passages and re-read all the funny parts in our favorite stories. When words excite and move us, we want to tell others.

To help people share the words that inspire them, Wattpad recently expanded its Quote Art feature. Exclusively available on Wattpad, Quote Art is a favorite tool for many Wattpadders. Collectively users have created more than 35 million quotes using the sharing feature.

With Quote Art, Wattpad users can post snippets of story passages on image-based platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, as well as other social networks. Quote Art can help stories go viral and makes it easy for both writers and readers to promote and connect over stories online.

To create Quote Art users highlight text and select the Quote Art icon.

Then they choose from one of several curated images, or can upload their own.

The Quote Art is then ready to share on the network of their choice.

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The expanded feature offers a catalog of new images and a redesigned font.

Quote Art is yet another successful project launched from a Hack Friday event. On Hack Friday, the Wattpad team is given free reign to work on unique projects that support our users. Quote Art is available exclusively on mobile and has been fully integrated into the Wattpad iOS and Android apps.

 

 

Wattpad launches Brand Stories

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Native ad offering helps brands connect with an audience of 40 million millennials

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Wattpad Brand Stories, a way for brands to reach and connect with millennials and generation Z. Wattpad Brand Stories can quickly reach an audience of millions with entertaining content that drives huge lifts in brand awareness and affinity.

With Wattpad Brand Stories, brands have a unique opportunity to engage fans through entertaining story campaigns that Wattpadders love. High-performing native ad units drive users to branded content on Wattpad. Millennial and generation z users account for 80% of the Wattpad community; together they have spent close to 70 million minutes immersed in Brand Stories with Wattpad’s early brand partners.

There are many creative ways Wattpad helps brands share stories with millennials, including:

  1. Wattpad commissions influential writers to create original content for brands
    We connect brands with our most popular writers who are masters at social storytelling
  2. Wattpad drives fan engagement around the stories brands share
    We help brands serialize their own stories on Wattpad. We’ll promote it to millions of young people and encourage their participation and engagement
  3. Wattpad helps brands attach themselves to some of the most viral stories on the Internet
    We help brands curate existing Wattpad content through sponsored Reading Lists
  4. Wattpad encourages young people to share stories about their favorite brands
    We encourage the Wattpad community to write and share stories about the brands they love

Leading brands have successfully used Wattpad to connect with fans around the world:

  • Mondelēz International commissioned popular Wattpad writers to create stories that played with their brand theme: “Sour then Sweet” Love stories for Valentines Day. Check out examples here and here.
    • Millennials spent over 3-million minutes reading these original stories
  • Screenwriters of the popular USA Network series DIG, serialized the prequel of the show on Wattpad. The first episode of the hit show picks up right where the Wattpad story ends. Check out the official prequel here.
    • The prequel has close to one million reads and continues to attract readers every day
  • Unilever’s Eskinol brand used Wattpad to tell it’s “Face of the Day” brand message to a female, millennial audience.
    • Over 880,000 young females spent 3.3 million minutes reading the commissioned Face of the Day story on Wattpad. The campaign also drove more than 1.6 million views of websiodes that were based on the Wattpad story.

Check out what Adweek has to say about Wattpad’s Brand Stories here.

To learn more about Brand Stories click here.

Wattpad and Harlequin team up for So You Think You Can Write contest

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Wattpad and Harlequin have teamed up for the 2015 So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) contest. For the first time ever, the annual romance writing competition has launched on Wattpad. Writers around the world are able to submit their manuscript on Wattpad for a chance to win a two-book publishing deal with Harlequin.

So You Think You Can Write brings out so much talent every year — and has made publishing dreams come true for many aspiring authors,” said Loriana Sacilotto, Executive Vice President of Global Publishing and Strategy at Harlequin.  “By joining with Wattpad we’re taking the contest to an exciting new level of engagement with writers and readers as well.”

The So You Think You Can Write romance writing competition is open to aspiring authors in the US, Canada (except Quebec), the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. To enter, writers must upload their manuscript on Wattpad and tag it with #SYTYCW2015, and one of the 18 categories they feel best represents their work. Writers must also submit a short pitch that outlines their story.

Submissions are accepted until September 21. Top submissions will then be short-listed for additional rounds of voting and judging by a panel of experts. Winners will be announced later this year in November.

“Wattpadders love opportunities that recognize and reward their efforts,” said Wattpad’s Head of Publisher and Writer Partnerships Ashleigh Gardner. “We’ve seen exceptional engagement when we hosted the New-Adult category SYTYCW contest in the past. Now that 18 categories are open to the community, we expect to see a flood of amazing submissions.”

Full contest details as well as complete category descriptions can be found on Harlequin’s official Wattpad profile: https://www.wattpad.com/HarlequinSYTYCW

Announcing The Wattpad Scholarship

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Today we’re thrilled to announce the launch of The Wattpad Scholarship. It’s an opportunity for five students in the US and Canada to receive a $1,500 scholarship towards their educational aspirations.

“At Wattpad we know stories can change lives. They have the power to entertain, connect, and most of all inspire people to achieve their dreams,” said Wattpad Co-founder and CEO Allen Lau. “The Wattpad Scholarship gives students an opportunity to use the power of stories to further their education. Every Wattpad story takes you on a journey, and now we hope it can even help take you to university.”

To apply for the scholarship, students are asked to share a true story on Wattpad about something that has impacted their life. Students are encouraged to be creative and write in a format of their choice, be it essay, biography, letter, confessional, or any other form they like. Applications are accepted until August 15th, 2015.

Finalists will be selected by a committee that includes Wattpad Co-Founders, Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. Five scholarships worth $1,500 will be awarded. Winners will be announced this fall. Full details can be found here.

Wattpad updates its web experience

Consider this a new page in the Wattpad story. Today, Wattpad rolls out a major update to the look and feel of our Discover, Library, Browse, Reading List, Genre, and Home pages on the web and mobile-web.

On the web, Wattpadders can access the most robust Create experience with writer-specific tools and features like Casting and the Writers Analytics Dashboard.

The new interface incorporates all the functions Wattpadders love, and improves the speed, usability, and overall design for Wattpad users on desktop and mobile-web browsers.

Come explore the pages of our latest web experience and get into the pages of your next favorite story.

If you’re interested in learning how we improved the web experience, you can read about it here on our engineering blog.