Why Serialized Content is Taking Over The World

In literature, a serial is a printed format in which a single larger body of work (often a work of narrative fiction) is published in sequential installments. It isn’t a new concept. Many believe serialization was made popular by Charles Dickens starting with The Pickwick Papers in 1836 and later Dombey and Son, which began serialization on October 1st 1846. Although serialized content existed prior to that, it was Dickens who commanded a large audience for the form and truly popularized it.

180 years later we are still seeing an appetite for it. On Wattpad many of our creators choose to serialize their stories, releasing one or two chapters per week to their audience of social readers. This works well because it makes the stories more digestible (you can read 2000 words or less in line, in transit or waiting at a doctor’s office). This makes reading something that can fit into most people’s busy modern lives. But the interesting thing about serialization on Wattpad is that it is often a major driver for collaboration. Pushing out a chapter at a time allows for a level of audience engagement that you simply can’t get otherwise. This format is what allows the author to take in reader feedback chapter by chapter, consider alternative viewpoints, and even change the story on the fly based on what resonates with the audience. This is an incredibly powerful tool for authors to have at their disposal.

Reading is something that we are continually redefining. Serialized content works for both the audience and the author, because it provides a pause and an opportunity to engage and create conversation, which ultimately forms deeper and more meaningful human interactions.

Wattpad & GBC-Education’s Global Education Platform Launch India’s Largest Ever Digital Writing Contest


Wattpad has teamed up with The Global Education Platform, an initiative of the Global Business Coalition for Education, to launch YourStoryIndia, a digital writing contest for India. The contest’s purpose is to engage and empower India’s youth and encourage them to share their unique stories on Wattpad to help drive literacy and provide access to culturally relevant, local stories. The Global Education Platform selected Wattpad as their partner for the pilot phase of the project because both organizations share the same vision that foresees billions of people increasing literacy via mobile phones.

The partnership was born out of the basic premise that the best way to get young people to read is through sharing content that youth find engaging and relevant to their own experiences. Through YourStoryIndia, the partners aim to facilitate the creation of youth-generated, culturally relevant stories and appeal to marginalized young people who will be able to read this content for free on feature phones.

This shared vision extends to other partners including HP, Twitter India, Times of India, and Idea Cellular. In addition, Global Youth Ambassadors from A World At School have supported the launch through technical support and promotion, while STIR Education and Teach for India’s teachers are encouraging their students to participate in the contest.

YourStoryIndia will run between October 1st 2015 and March 31st 2016 and is open to people 13 years of age and older. Stories can be written in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Urdu, Tamil, Gujarati, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese.

Candice Faktor, head of business at Wattpad said, “We are delighted to be working with the Global Business Coalition for Education’s Global Education Platform to encourage youth in India to share their voices and unique stories. India is a rapidly growing market for Wattpad and we can’t wait to see this market continue to grow.”

For more info on this program, visit the YourStoryIndia profile on Wattpad.


How Wattpad is Driving Influence in the Global Entertainment Space

In September 2014, something unprecedented happened in the Philippines, one of our most highly engaged countries. Wattpad partnered with the Kapatid Network to make some of the most popular Filipino Wattpad stories into a primetime mini-series airing on TV5 right after The Amazing Race Philippines. This comes after popular stories from our platform had already leapt onto the big screen and become blockbuster hits. This is exciting for us, because it represents an intersection between traditional forms of entertainment media like television and books merging with a non-traditional media platform like Wattpad.

Now over a year later, the Philippines continues to be an interesting market. With a population of just over 100 million people, 44 million of whom are online, an astonishing 32 million people have mobile phones with internet connectivity. It is a country of connected people who are influenced by American culture and absolutely love being social online. This is a big reason why they embraced Wattpad with open arms and why two of their forward-thinking mobile carriers Globe + SMART decided to use Wattpad to bundle offers to their mobile subscribers. New subscribers would receive their phone plans and not have to pay for data when they used Wattpad; a major advantage for millennials who were already loving the app. In the Philippines alone, over 100 of their traditionally published books first originated on Wattpad.

And it’s highly evident that this is where things are going. Not just in the Philippines, but globally. There is a hunger for shows by real people, stories by real people and even marketing by real people. Nobody wants a manufactured experience anymore. And millennials especially trust content from friends over brands and demand authenticity.

Increasingly, we are working with huge entertainment brands in the United States who are starting to recognize the upside of working with Wattpad to launch blockbuster movies by inviting participation from our enthusiastic community. Just a few years ago this type of thing would have never happened, and now brands are having meaningful interactions where the fans get to become active participants and help shape the success of marketing campaigns by co-creating content with their favourite brands.
Wattpad is at the forefront of some exciting developments in the entertainment world. Our content is appearing outside of our website on the big screen, television, and online. Wattpad has proven to be globally relevant from a cultural perspective and we are just beginning to touch the surface of where we will go in the entertainment space. We are already licensing top writers and popular content to develop shows and webisodes. We are at the intersection of this cultural shift in the way we advertise and merge the ever-changing online world with the slower paced and sometimes traditional offline world.

Wattpad collaborates with Skillshare for online writing class


We’re extremely excited to announce our collaboration with Skillshare for a free online writing class, led by one of our very own Wattpad Stars, Rebecca Sky.

The class, Writing for Online Engagement: Fiction in a Digital World, will provide an in depth look at online writing with frameworks, techniques, and strategies to engage an online audience and build community around stories.

Wattpad Stars are masters of storytelling and have become authorities and influencers in the world of online writing and engagement. This partnership is an opportunity for those interested in writing for a digital age to learn from an expert.

So, what exactly is Skillshare? It’s a vibrant learning community that provides access to online classes taught by creators around the world.

To register for this class, go here


Wattpad introduces Wattpad Stars to support viral writers and jumpstart careers

Wattpad is proud to announce Wattpad Stars, an accelerator for top writers. The program helps writers take their skills to the next level, and provides brands and publishers with an opportunity to tap into Wattpad’s roster of talented digital influencers.

Wattpad Stars are commissioned by top brands to write stories that entertain and engage audiences and some even see their work in print or as screen adaptations. They also receive marketing and support from Wattpad to increase their presence and advance their careers.

A few notable writers whose writing careers have skyrocketed thanks to Wattpad include:  

  • Anna Todd: Anna turned her love for Harry Styles into one of the biggest social media phenomenon’s of 2014. She wrote the story After on Wattpad and it soon became one of the most talked about stories on the Internet. After receiving one billion reads on Wattpad, the company helped her land a six figure publishing deal and film deal with Paramount
  • Rebecca Sky: Commissioned to write for the Athenos campaign and featured in the New York Times
  • Apryl Baker: Commissioned by Universal Pictures to write for the Ouija and Unfriended film promotions
  • Edward Mullen: Commissioned by USA Network and A&E to write for the launch of the television series DIG and The Returned

Wattpad writers who’ve built their online presence, with a knack for creating fun, serial stories, now have direct route to the Wattpad team to jumpstart their careers. We recognize the hard work of these Wattpad Stars and want to help them connect with new opportunities to take their writing to the next level.

For more information on the program, visit https://www.wattpad.com/writers/wattpad-stars/

TL;DR? More like books FTW!

Survey reveals majority of US teens spent the summer reading. Actual books.

We live in an era with short forms and acronyms for everything, emojis to substitute a host of complex emotions, and countless additional forms of distraction built into a single, handheld device.

So, it’s not entirely crazy to fear the worst: That books and longform reading have been rendered obsolete for teens, a demographic born into a world where there is just so much competing for their attention at any given moment.

And yet, amidst these collectively growing fears and beliefs, a recent survey suggests otherwise.

According to the survey of more than 1,500 US teens aged 13-18, a whopping seventy percent said they read most during the summer. The summer! That time of anti- school when they don’t even have to read because nobody’s making them!

On top of this, the survey revealed that three-quarters of teens planned to read more than five books over the summer, with more than half committing upwards of two hours a day to reading. And when it comes to summer travel, eighty-seven percent confirmed that it’s important to have books that are accessible directly from a mobile phone.

Thirty-six percent of teens even admitted they’d cancel plans to finish a great story.

How many adults can say the same?

Books: 1
Long-held perceptions about teens and reading: 0

When it comes to pop culture, three out of four said they’d prefer to read a book about their favorite celebrities over watching a video. This is especially interesting considering the widely held belief that best way to reach young people is through video.

This survey confirms that many teens are actively choosing to engage with content, rather than passively absorb it. This is huge, because it means teens still enjoy reading. And with longform content woven into their connected, mobile lifestyles, it’s more accessible than ever before.

But all this points to a greater truth, as well, one that most humans inherently know – that great stories will always be a part of who we are, regardless of the way they are consumed.

Congratulations to our 2015 Wattpad Scholarship Recipients

At Wattpad, we believe that everyone has a story to tell. For our 2015 Wattpad Scholarship program, we asked students to tell us their own true stories, drawing on something that has impacted their life and helped shape who they have become.

Of the 500 submissions we received from students throughout the U.S. and Canada, we have selected five winners and are thrilled to award each with a $1500 scholarship. Read all of our winners and honorable mentions here.

For Wattpad, this scholarship program is an example of how the power of a story can be used to create opportunity, and further support students in their educational aspirations. We are truly inspired by the number of impressive entries we received.

We are pleased to share our 2015 Wattpad Scholarship Recipients, with links to their Wattpad profiles, and a compilation of the stories that won them their well-deserved scholarships. Congrats again to the winners and thanks to everyone who participated for your inspiring entries!

It was difficult to select just five winning submissions. Here are some honorable mentions that we know you’ll enjoy equally as much: