Last month marked 10 years of Wattpad. We celebrated this journey with our global community and released our plans to change the face of entertainment in the years to come. Wattpad’s Head of Creators Melissa Nightingale and Head of Audience Jeanne Lam understand that for any of these plans to work, they’ll need to help foster and scale Wattpad’s global audience while they maintain a positive space for storytellers.
Together, the dynamic duo work to attract new storytellers and audiences to Wattpad’s community of 45 million and growing. It’s a monumental task, but one they carry out with trailblazing vision and genuine care.
“We have the mission of touching the lives of billions of people,” says Jeanne about her role. “Our goal is to get the stories that are on Wattpad in front of as many people as humanly possible.”
For Melissa, her pitch to storytellers on Wattpad is a simple one: “Wattpad makes it possible to share a story and find that readers halfway across the world have fallen in love with your characters. How cool is that?”
The work of their teams builds on the work that was laid down by Wattpad’s co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. They aim to grow a community that facilitates positive interactions between creators and audiences.“Wattpad is a uniquely positive place that stands in contrast to so many of the large, social platforms on the internet today,” explains Melissa. “It’s a safe space for creative expression, where storytellers are able to tell the stories that are meaningful to them and have them resonate with a global community.”
Jeanne adds,“...when I think about what's so unique about this positivity, there's a level of generosity that I haven't seen anywhere else. Ever. Sharing your story is an inherently generous act. But giving feedback, voting, commenting, creating reading lists, participating in movements, these are all acts of generosity that fuel the positivity among the Wattpad community.”
She’s referring to movements like #FreeYourBody, #TalkThePoc, and empowered social advocates like Emily Linden. For the two, the generosity behind sharing stories on Wattpad is the key to growth. It’s the small acts that can make a big difference.
In some cases, a popular writer adding a story to a reading list is all it takes to propel that story into the public eye. Jeanne recounts meeting Wattpadder Alex Karola at an event hosted by influencers in the community. According to Alex, Wattpad Star Lindsey Summers felt the need to share her story that examines the complex issue of bulimia. The simple act of sharing When You Fall connected Alex to a passionate community that flooded her story with touching comments and messages of support. The event would change Alex’s course in life inspiring a path toward a master’s degree scholarship to further a career in education.
It’s now Alex’s mission to reveal the power of narratives as a tool to deal with disorders.
Stories like this inspire the vision that drives both teams. “We get to help people be heard, find their audience, and go on to achieve amazing things both on and off of Wattpad,” says Melissa.
Many people in the Wattpad community have shared their own stories of personal development achieved in part through the power of Wattpad stories. To some, Wattpad is a safe space. To others, it’s a way to meet new friends and develop as a storyteller.
Melissa and Jeanne understand the appeal of Wattpad stories is their power to change lives. As more audiences and storytellers join Wattpad’s global community, new voices and diverse points of view will continue connect people on a global level. The generosity of storytellers is a pivotal factor that will shape the future of the Wattpad community.
Can you be a part of that movement?