This month we’re celebrating Wattpad’s 10th birthday! It’s an incredible milestone for us at HQ, and a chance to reflect on the impact we’ve made on storytelling around the world.
In many ways, Wattpad has reinvented storytelling for the modern age. Product features like inline commenting, embedded multimedia, and writer analytics are some of the ways we’ve changed how the world engages with stories. In other ways, Wattpad takes people back to the roots of storytelling -- community.
Before the advent of the printing press, we shared stories in caves, over campfires, and in town squares. People gathered around stories, and audiences and storytellers were always connected in real-time. More than 500 years after the invention of the printing press, Wattpad creates direct connections between the world’s readers and writers once again. No other company has done this on such a massive, global scale.
Today, Wattpad connects over 45 million people with stories that can’t be found anywhere else. A decade ago, though, Wattpad was just an idea scribbled on the back of a napkin.
In 2006 co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen met at the Vancouver International Airport to talk about a mobile reading experience they envisioned. They noticed the growing popularity of user-generated content and the rise of social platforms. They saw the increasing capability of mobile devices and the ever-expanding reach of the internet, and believed that in the near future, people would use their phones to read on-the-go.
They were right. Today, more than 90 percent of Wattpad’s traffic comes from mobile devices. Not only do people read on their phones, but they also write novels and design book covers.
Wattpad makes it easy for anyone, anywhere in the world to share a story wherever inspiration strikes. The open nature of the platform encourages diverse voices and views. While the community shares stories that reflect popular culture and common tropes, we also see thousands of stories every day that feature characters and plots that are underrepresented in mainstream media. On Wattpad, people gather around the content and conversations that matter to them and find communities through stories.
Unlike other social platforms where trolling is rampant, we’re proud that Wattpad is recognized for being one of the most positive places on the internet. It’s a supportive environment where storytellers hone their skills, build an audience, and even get paid for doing what they love. For audiences, Wattpad is where they return day after day because they see themselves in the stories they read. People make lifelong friends and create life-changing connections on Wattpad.
With the launch of Wattpad Studios earlier this year, we hope to change even more lives around the world. Wattpad Studios will bring the best, most-engaging Wattpad stories to a larger audience. We’re co-producing movies, television, and digital series, and publishing books with partners in the traditional entertainment industry. Wattpad started as a reading and writing app, but over the last 10 years, we’ve cemented ourselves in the entertainment space. Every day, more people fall in love with Wattpad stories, wherever the discover them through the app, on their bookshelves, or on the screen.
So what does the next 10 years hold for us at HQ and across the global community? Time will tell, but we’re pretty pumped to reveal some exciting announcements and partnerships on this blog very soon. In the meantime, we want to send a heartfelt thank you to every reader, writer, and partner who has supported our incredible journey. Cheers to 10 years, and many, many, more great moments to come!