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.

Mega Trends and the future of reading and writing

This post is brought to you by Wattpad Co-Founder and CEO Allen Lau.

It is a golden era for technology companies. In the past, new technologies emerged as people built from existing ideas; improving and iterating on old designs and knowledge. From the mid-2000s to today, we have seen the rise of three simultaneous mega trends:

  1. mobile technology
  2. social media
  3. cloud-computing

Billions of dollars have changed hands as a result of these three mega trends.

2015 marks the second half of this golden decade for technology. It is the perfect time to reflect on the past and make prediction about the future. Mobile, social, and cloud are all still big things in our society, but I believe these 4 emergent mega trends will define the rest of the decade:

1.) Decentralization

The Internet is very good at Decentralization. To see this, one has only to look at how Facebook and Youtube affected broadcast media.

These startup companies grew dramatically thanks to increases in the capabilities of connected devices and high speed WiFi. Facebook and YouTube also benefit from a largely centralized Internet. Today, data is the new oil. These companies use internal data and monetize from it. On a scale that large they seem invincible, but are they?

The decentralization of the Internet is far from over. Just like they don’t resemble the traditional companies that they disrupted, they can also be disrupted by innovators that decentralize data and provide different values like improved privacy.

2.) Fragmentation of the Internet

The number of Internet users zoomed past 2 billion and it’s become apparent that this global village might not be as homogenous as we might have envisioned.  We have already seen the increasingly regulated Internet arise, as well as the fragmented Chinese Internet.

The next billion Internet users will likely be accessing the Internet very differently (different type of devices, payment models, apps and content).  This poses new challenges, but also opens new opportunities for entrepreneurs to create applications that work on a global scale.

3.) The Internet of things

Everyone (except me) is now building a lightbulb or bathtub that connects to the Internet.  Although we haven’t seen the “killer apps” for “The Internet of Things” yet, when all your devices are all interconnected, the network effects will be greatly increased and disruptive magic will happen.

4.) New Platforms

As web 1.0 (read-only) evolved to web 2.0 (the social web), the importance of the underlying operating systems (OS) diminished as the browser became the new OS (which is partially responsible for the resurgence of Macs).

Mobile is now the dominant platform, the operating system is moving up the stack and evolving. Nowadays almost all popular apps are available on both Android and iOS.

While most of that data is now stored in the cloud, switching from Android to iOS and vice versa is quite seamless if you choose to switch. This lessens the importance of the underlying OS.  Where people spend their time will become the new operating system if these apps allow people to build things on top of them. In other words, messaging apps can become the new browser.

Truly, magic happens when multiple mega trends occur simultaneously. As someone looking to connect the world through a shared love of stories, I’m excited by the prospects of the future.

Of course, nobody knows exactly what the world will look like in December 2020. All I know is that if history is any indication, exciting times are ahead.

Why authors love Wattpad

Increasingly, authors are looking to build meaningful connections with fans online so that they can attract loyal readers who are engaged with their work. Unlike other social networks, on Wattpad we have a massive community of engaged users who are predominantly readers. They come to Wattpad to read stories and engage with their peers and the writers they follow. The writers on our platform are the celebrities and their fans are deeply engaged in their work. The connection between reader and writer is what matters most, and this is what sets Wattpad apart.

On Wattpad, readers represent 90% of our community of over 40 million monthly active users, and the average reading time is an astounding 30 minutes per session. According to an eMarketer study, the only two social sites who boast longer average time spent are Facebook and Tumblr, with Instagram not far behind. This represents an enormous opportunity for authors.

Wattpad is the place where many successful published authors come to find an audience and engage with readers. We have a number of best selling authors on our platform; Dan Brown, Margaret Atwood, and Ellen Hopkins to name a few. And we continue to build relationships with publishers and agents. But the magic of Wattpad is that we welcome all authors from all walks of life and stages of career.

Published authors continue to come to Wattpad to share their work and find great success. They engage with their audience in a new way – often to share exclusive content, post essays or articles, and to share themselves with an audience who is excited to offer thoughts and opinions. Wattpad provides a unique opportunity to connect readers and writers together in a meaningful way.