“India is home to some of the most creative storytellers on the planet”
says Devashish Sharma, Country Head (India), Wattpad, the world’s most-loved social storytelling platform, which connects a global community of 80 million readers and writers through the power of story.
Wattpad is one of the fastest-growing and most-engaging platforms in the world. Because of Wattpad, people are reading and writing more than ever. Reports of the death of reading are grossly exaggerated. Reading just looks a lot different today. It’s a social and interactive experience, not the solitary pursuit it once was.
Inception and journey so far…
Wattpad’s online platform connects writers with readers. Since its launch in 2006, Wattpad has become a social networking star, with more than 80 million users, predominantly young women from 13 to 35. Wattpad’s four million authors upload roughly 500,000 posts a day (the site has a catalogue of 565 million uploads), allowing readers to not only consume their content, mostly for free, but to interact with writers and fellow readers via votes, direct messages and comments.
“Besides,Wattpad Studios discovers untapped, unsigned, and talented writers on Wattpad and connects them to global multi-media entertainment companies.Wattpad Studios works with partners such as Sony, Hulu, Syfy, etc,” tells Devashish Sharma, Country Head (India), Wattpad.
“Wattpad Books aspire to recognize and reflect diverse voices by taking Wattpad stories to published book and onto bookshelves around the world.Wattpad Books works with partners such as Macmillan Publishers, Anvil Publishing and Penguin Random House UK,” he adds.
The new brand identity…
“We launched our new brand identity and tag line in 2019. Our new look and tagline is intended to show the world how Wattpad has transformed into a place where diverse voices and their stories, live, connect, and form communities. Our new tagline is Where stories live,” tells Devashish.
The Master plan
“Our Master Plan is the best way to articulate how we’ve grown into the leading social storytelling platform on the planet and where we’re headed next,” says Devashish.
At its core, Wattpad is more than reading and writing — it’s entertainment. Wattpad Studios brings popular stories to life in other formats. Hundreds of Wattpad stories have become blockbuster movies, hit TV series, and bestselling books. Our native ads help brands reach consumers around the world with entertaining and engaging stories that don’t interrupt the experience they’ve come to know and love on Wattpad.
The Wattpad Stars program helps some of the platform’s biggest influencers improve their craft, and Wattpad Paid Stories helps writers get paid!
Wattpad is now leveraging their data, technology, and community to revolutionize how content is created and how people are entertained. They want to leverage machine learning to discover more great stories, revolutionize how traditional entertainment is produced, create new forms of entertainment and distribute Wattpad stories across all formats, on multiple platforms. In short, their master plan is to:
- Discover more great stories
- Turn these stories into great movies, TV shows, print books, etc.
- Create new forms of entertainment
- Distribute and monetize content on and off Wattpad, earn money for storyteller
The Watty Awards are Wattpad’s annual celebration of the electrifying, visionary, diverse voices that choose to share their stories on Wattpad every year.
Success stories on Wattpad
“Around the world, nearly a thousand Wattpad stories have been published as books, or turned into TV shows, films and digital media projects. In publishing alone, hundreds of Wattpad stories have been published as books and many have become bestsellers,” tells Devashish.
Some of the best examples include: After, which reached 1.5 billion reads on Wattpad and became a best-seller. “Our film adaptation of After won a 2019 People’s Choice Award for Best Drama Film, three Teen Choice Awards, and was one of the top grossing indie films of the year (after opening #1 in 17 markets),” he adds.
Light as a Feather Wattpad story landed a three-book deal from Simon & Schuster. “With our partners AwesomenessTV and Grammnet, we also turned the book into a hit Hulu show, which has received four Daytime Emmy nominations and also received a supersized order for season 2 (now streaming),” tells Devashish.
The Kissing Booth started on Wattpad in 2011 when the author Beth Reekles was 15 years old. She won a Watty Award in 2011 for Most Popular Teen Fiction, and had 19 million reads on Wattpad. What’s more? The author landed a book deal with Random House UK in 2013. When the film came out on Netflix in 2018, it was one of the most popular movies in the world according to IMDB. “Since launching on Netflix, the book leaped to the Top 25 of three Teen categories on Amazon,” he adds.
Using machine learning….
“Using machine learning, deep learning, and recurrent neural networks, our Story DNA technology allows us to better understand and discover stories among the more than 500 million uploads that have been shared on Wattpad. Our Story DNA machine learning technology deconstructs stories into their elemental features, such as sentence structure, word use, and grammar employed to find the next best-seller. We are then able to compare stories to other content on Wattpad and other public domain stories. The result is a rich and complex system that can identify a wide range of stories, styles, and genres at a scale that has never been possible in human history,” he adds.
The geographic teach…
“Our largest market is US with 14 million users. Others in our top 10 include Philippines, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, UK, France, Italy, Germany,” he tells.
“Wattpad has been available in India for a number of years, but in 2018 we started to make new investments in the region, hiring our first Country Manager for India. In 2019, we also announced a partnership with Times Bridge to help us grow in the region,” shares Devashish.
Currently, Wattpad has more than 2.8 million monthly users in India and Wattpadders in India have shared more than 4 million story uploads. Talking about languages, Devashish shares that on Wattpad, one can browse stories in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Assamese, Marathi, Oriya. “For the app interface, we support English and Hindi,” he says.
Working this publishers…
Wattpad works with publishers around the world to find hit stories with passionate, built-in fanbases. “For years, we’ve worked with publishing partners around the world to turn hundreds of Wattpad stories into best-selling books,” he says.
“In 2019, we launched Wattpad Books, Wattpad’s first publishing division. We work with our sales and distribution Macmillan in the US and Raincoast in Canada, to bring Wattpad Books to bookstores across North America. We also have a partnership with Penguin-Random House UK to bring Wattpad Books titles to the UK,” he shares.
“We’d love to work with Indian publishers to bring amazing Wattpad stories to bookstores in the country and around the world. India is home to some of the most creative storytellers on the planet, with the most exciting literary and entertainment sectors anywhere. With millions of Indian users and stories already on Wattpad, we’re in an ideal position to help local studios and publishers find new voices,” concludes Devashish.
Devashish Sharma is the Country Head at Wattpad – world’s largest storytelling platform. Previously he co-founded CoHo (India’s most loved coliving & student housing company) and has worked in technology roles in Toronto and Silicon Valley. He is a member of the Forbes Tech Council (US) and is an active startup mentor with Techstars, GSF accelerator and the Next Canada foundation.
The Wattpad platform in numbers
1.) Wattpad has a total monthly audience of over 80 million people
- A new user joins Wattpad every second of the day
- There are more than 4 million monthly writers on Wattpad
2.) More than half a billion uploads have been written on Wattpad
- More than 24 hours of reading material is posted to Wattpad every minute
3.) People spend more than 23 billion minutes a month on Wattpad
- Average engagement time is 37 minutes per user, per day
4.) 90% of all Wattpad activity is on mobile
5.) Wattpad stories are available in over 50 languages