Monday, February 2, 2015

Wattpad... What?

It is almost impossible to say that you don’t have any idea about Wattpad. It is almost everywhere, not just on your tables or cell phones. It is now available in printed form, there were movies that came from your favorite Wattpad stories and then there will even be TV shows that came from Wattpad.

Question: So what makes Wattpad  popular?

“Easy!” said Freesia Lockheart, author of “Like Yesterday,” it is all about the “kilig” factor.

“It also offers different stories since Wattpad has different varieties of stories and different genres,” said Bianca, author of A Hundred and One Reason.

So just to give us a run down of what Wattpad has accomplished so far, Mr. Allen Lau, CEO and Co-founder of Wattpad told us that it all started in 2006 and the purpose is just simply to show and share your story around the world. That was 8 years ago.  Now, there are over 100 stories in print, 11 movies and even a TV show.

In terms of usage, Wattpad has over 32 million monthly users and 9 billion minutes are spend each month. Here in the Philippines, we are said to be the 2nd largest Wattpad user, with over 5 million monthly online user (August) and it was recorded that a billion minutes was spent in Wattpad. The top 5 Wattpad city users in the Philippines are: 1. Manila, 2. Makati, 3. Quezon City, 4. Cebu City and 5. Mandaluyong City.

Question: By now, Filipino Wattpad media has finally embraced the fan community of writers by offering book deals and TV shows based on Wattpad content. Is this also happening in other countries?

Yes. We already know that 50 Shades of Gray came from Wattpad, and it will be shown in the large screen any time soon,  and as a matter a fact, there will be other movies in the US and a TV show in England, but we have to wait for further announcement.

Q: How does Wattpad influenced its readers?

As Louisse (author of A and D) and the other authors have noticed, there is a decline of drug users in Manila, and that is because instead of turning into drugs, most youngsters will just read Wattpad stories.

It will turn you to a book lover. As Freesia suggested, first you start with Wattpad, reading thin books, then you will graduate on thicker books and more complicated stories.
Wattpad is also a good venue for inspiring writers. There is no pressure in writing. Just place one chapter a day or two and let your fans comment on your works.

Q: So what makes Wattpad different?

It is easy to read. Mobile, and portable. You can also read it without the pressure. Just read it chapter by chapter once a day, and you’re Ok.

As Allen Lau always says, there are three aspects that make Wattpad unique:
1. The contents are unique. They are all original write-ups of the members, and you won’t find them  on other Internet sites.
2. There is interaction between readers and writers. It is not like you’re writing alone because the writers can talk to readers as they progress.
3. It’s mobile. You can download it free in your cell phone/tables apps.

Q: Can you provide us a sneak peek at what these awesome new features might look like?
Allen Lau: When Wattpad started way back 2006, it is just about text. There were no pictures, no videos that we can upload. Now, Wattpad is more like those other social networks where we can upload videos and pictures. Also, we gave more on how the readers can interact with the viewers.

Q: So, how does Wattpad influenced you as a writer?

Most authors agree, that because of Wattpad, it gave them a sense of feeling that they were not alone. Take Freesia and Louise for example. Both thought that they’re the only weird people in this planet. Most of them are considered as introverts. As Louise has said, “ You are not connected once, but you will then realize that you are not alone. It changed my life because I have to change the reader’s life.”  Eydee (A Damn Good Kisser) also said that she was once so introvert, but after writing and becoming eh, a little bit famous because of Wattpad, she began to learn to interact with fans.
Wattpad is also a good therapy, something to use as an outlet for strong feelings, said Mira (Gone So Young).

Q: Can Wattpad be destructive? What do you think?
Most of the authors agreed that users, especially teenagers should make their school work first before using and reading Wattpad.  Use Wattpad as a “reward” rather than putting all your time in it.
There was this story that Louise told us how it affected her grades. She gave Wattpad more time compared to her studies so the effects were lower grades. That’s why she suggested that whether you are a writer or just a reader, give your education more priorities.

Q: How long do you think before Wattpad becomes the next generation choice of media accounts, eclipsing Facebook and YouTube?

As Allen Lau pointed out, Wattpad is just 8 years old and look at it now. They already have more than 100 printed stories, 11 movies and a TV show - yes and about the TV show, ABC 5 launched WATTPAD PRESENT this September 22, a drama series based on Wattpad stories. Now you can watch your favorite Wattpad on TV with your favorite actors and actresses on ABC 5 every weekday @ 7PM.

So we will see more interactions, more books and more TV/Movies in the coming years. 

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