Wattpad, a text-based storytelling platform, has surpassed 80 million monthly users this week, the company announced Thursday morning. That is a 23% increase from 2018.
Founded in 2006, Wattpad allows users to write, post and read short, text-based novels. Readers can engage with the content by commenting on the novel or “liking” specific paragraphs. This data is then used by the company to identify emerging trends within the platform — such as what type of content is being written about and engaged with the most. The company then uses this information to help studios around the world create video content. Companies, including Sony Pictures Television, Hulu, iflix in Indonesia, and the CBC in Canada, have used this data to create video programming, such as Hulu’s “Light as a Feather,” which is based off a popular Wattpad story by the same name.
The new user milestone follows the company’s recent launch of Wattpad Books, its first publishing division that brings select user-generated stories created on the platform to bookstores across the U.S. The division recently partnered with Penguin Random House U.K. to bring Wattpad Books to readers in the U.K. The news also follows the global rollout of Premium and Paid Stories, which give authors on the platform new ways to monetize their stories through subscriptions and micro-payments.
“Wattpad exists because of the talented writers and supportive readers who have helped our community and product grow all over the world,” GM Jeanne Lam said. “Since day one, our vision has been to entertain and connect the world through stories, and this milestone represents both our user growth and the success we’ve had making Wattpad the best platform in the world for writers and their fans. We’re excited to continue to welcome new readers and writers to Wattpad, connecting them to stories they love and to each other, while bringing Wattpad stories to new mediums and audiences around the globe.”
To date, the text-based storytelling platform has received over $117 million in funding from investors including The Raine Group, Tencent Holdings, Peterson Group, Kick Start Ventures, and Golden Ventures.