Wattpad : a new platform to discover new talented writers
It is a social media, a library, a new publication platform for independent writers : It is Wattpad. Launched in 2006 by Canadians Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen, the two founders wanted to mix literature and web 2.0.
After a strong first success in the United States, the application arrived in France in 2015 with the best seller translation of After written by Anna Todd of which 180 000 copies were published. Let’s see why it caused a lot of ink to flow.
The explanation of a best seller
Wattpad understood its culture. In 2007, the Wattpad website sees more and more visitors. The company decided to launch their own mobile application. This strategy was good because today, 85% of Wattpad clients use this device. Anna Todd, writer of the best seller « After » confided that she wrote a strong part of her book on her mobile phone.
The result is clear : today, Wattpad counts 40 millions members and 250 million stories.
A mix between a library and a social media, the application allows its members to share their stories. A rating system entices « wattpaders » to evaluate new chapters of other member’s stories. Thus, social interactions are one of the keys to this strong success.
Furthermore, its intuitive user interface reinforces a strong appeal alongside teenagers. Indeed, 80% of users have less than 25 years old.
It could be explained by the strong presence of fan fictions which deals with fan who meet their favourite celebrity and share their fiction to others fans. For instance, many « directioners » – One Direction’s fans – or Hunger Games fans wrote fan stories.
A new way to be recognized
In 2017 a partnership was signed between the platform and the French editor group : Hachette Romans with the aim to translate some stories in multiple languages. According to Cécile Terouanne, Hachette Romans director and Livre de Poche Jeunesse : Wattpad is a perfect way to recruit new talented writers ».
Furthermore, the social media plays a strong part in this recruitment process. The social component of the platform pushes editors to keep an eye on the writers development on Wattpad and see which story is actually famous. Public reactions and comments are an important tool. Indeed, some users could comment that they want to buy the story. Thus, it is a main indicator for editors.
To conclude : Wattpad brings a new hope for editors who want more proximity with their audience. In addition, it sensitizes some teenagers to literature 2.0.