Often called “YouTube for ebooks”, Wattpad is an e-book community where undiscovered and published writers can publish and share their works.
Wattpad also is a reading application that can be accessed using a mobile phone or a computer. Unlike dedicated ebook reading devices, Wattpad requires no special hardware. Instead, it makes use of common mobile phones for the download, and online web-pages, storage and display of ebook material. It can be run on most mobile phone devices, including but not limited to iPhone/iPod/iPad, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone 7 and basic phones that run Java.
The content is user-generated, allowing anyone to contribute to the library.
Launch and FameEdit
WattPad originated as an idea of e-book reading application in 2006 when Ivan Yuen, an early employee of Tira Wireless contacted Allen Lau, the co-founder of Tira Wireless to provide feedback for his new mobile e-reading project. Coincidentally, Allen was pursuing a similar idea and he flew to Vancouver to meet with Ivan. So wattpad was released in 2006 unofficially. During their first meeting in Vancouver Ivan and Allen decided that:
- Wattpad should be 100% free to keep the “friction” low. It allowed them to quickly test and refine the idea.
- It would be too time consuming for them to create and maintain their own catalog. Better focus on building the platform and let the community to decide what they want to read.
- Supporting as many phone models as possible was crucial. This would ensure that lack of hardware support would not become a hurdle for people to try Wattpad out.
- They would create a website (which Ivan already did) for users to upload their content to the “cloud”. To make the website look more interesting, they would also display a list of new and popular content (which became “What’s Hot” and “What’s New” – a fixture in Wattpad now).
Since its launch in October 2006, the mobile application has been downloaded over 5 million times. In February 2007, Wattpad announced the addition of over 17,000 eBooks from Project Gutenberg making them available to mobile users. In March 2009, an iPhone version was released, competing with ebook readers such as the Amazon Kindle for iPhone. This was followed by the launch on BlackBerry App World in April 2009, Google Android in June 2009 and Apple iPad in April 2010, making Wattpad the only ebook reader to support all major mobile phone platforms.
Wattpad is criticized for hosting copyrighted material on their site, as the content uploaded is user generated and subject to safe harbor rules under the OCILLA It has since announced several initiatives to combat piracy, including the "Authors In Charge" program which allows writers to identify and directly remove infringing content from the site.
The most frequently voted stories appear on the "Hot List".(This is determined by a number of statistics) The authors of those stories are unofficially referred to as "wattpad celebrities" because of their high status among the Wattpad users. These stats change daily, due to reads and votes by other users. Many wattpad users and readers appreciate the site for inspiring children and teenagers to read and write more and uncover a hidden interest in literature. Unlike other websites where new authors can share their work, wattpad users are more active to respond to such submissions. If one check the Most Popular pane of authors, it is easy to find in their profiles that most are teenagers.
Wattpad holds several smaller contests a year and one major one. The large annual contest is called "The Watty Awards". In 2010, The Watty Awards introduced several additional awards categories as well as the ability to pick celebrities to play the fictional characters of the stories. Contests are open to anyone who has a Wattpad account. They also give prizes to the contest winners. Sometimes contests are a simple question like "Where is your favorite place to read?"
- ↑ Tanner, John (2007-11-20). Telecom Asia. http://www.telecomasia.net/article.php?id_cat3=0&id_article=6381.
- ↑ "Wattpad ebook reader for Windows Phone 7". 1800PocketPC. 2 October 2010. http://www.1800pocketpc.com/2010/10/03/wattpad-ebook-reader-for-windows-phone-7.html.
- ↑ Kohl, Jesse (2007-01-19). "Handheld story-sharing the next user-gen trend?". Media in Canada. http://www.mediaincanada.com/articles/mic/20070119/wattpad.html.
- ↑ Lau, Allen. "How Did Wattpad start?". http://allenlau.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/how-did-wattpad-start/.
- ↑ "Wattpad heralds 3.1m ebook downloads". http://www.pr.com/press-release/155548.
- ↑ "Wattpad Gutenberg Press Release". http://www.wattpad.com/press?pr=022107.
- ↑ Sande, Steven (2009-03-16). "ebook reader smackdown: Kindle 2 vs. iPhone". The Unofficial Apple Weblog. http://www.tuaw.com/2009/03/16/tuaw-ebook-reader-smackdown-kindle-2-vs-iphone/.
- ↑ Biba, Paul (2009-06-29). "Wattpad coming to Android and Nokia Ovi". TeleRead. http://www.teleread.org/2009/06/29/wattpad-coming-to-android-and-the-nokia-ovi-store/.
- ↑ Ray, Bill (2009-03-09). "Wattpad furnishes iPhone with bootleg books for bupkes". The Register. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/09/wattpad_iphone/.
- ↑ "Wattpad Launches Innovative "Authors In Charge Program" For Its Ebook Community". http://www.phonecontent.com/bm/news/wattpad-launches-innovative-authors-in-charge-prog.shtml.
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