Self-Publishing Platforms like Toronto’s Wattpad Report Strong 2013

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It turned out to be a good year in 2013 for Toronto-based startup Wattpad, the company that created an online and mobile community of readers and writers. According to the company, user engagement doubled over that time from the previous year.

Moreover, Wattpad’s users spent more than 41 billion minutes on the platform, with users under 25 accounting for the majority of time spent on Wattpad.

“We’ve redefined what it means to be a reader by empowering a new generation to read, create and shape the stories that matter to them, all from their mobile devices,” said CEO Allen Lau. “We’ve seen major growth in 2013 thanks to the incredibly active Wattpad community. We expect an even bigger year ahead, and ultimately, a future where millions of original stories are created every day.”

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Available in more than 30 languages, Wattpad gives people around the world the ability to read millions of stories for free or write and share their own from any phone, tablet or computer.

Interestingly, on the same day that Wattpad chose to disclose their impressive 2013 statistics, California-based Smashwords also reported healthy figures. This latter company is also a self-publishing services. Smashboard users published 275,000 titles in 2013, up 45 percent from the year before, and authors’ sales hit $20 million. It sounds like the space is general can call 2013 as its heat-up year. That said, it would be interesting to quantify what was probably a mammoth year for San Francisco-based Medium, a more refined self-publishing service.

Wattpad meanwhile placed large emphasis on the millennial generation in its growth, reporting year-over-year growth among 13-25 year olds. “On Wattpad, this generation does more than merely consume content, they participate in the creation, remixing and sharing of stories,” they said.

Last year, more than 53 million connections were made on Wattpad and these connections sparked over 300 million messages, comments and votes. The Wattpad community spent 87 million minutes each day reading and sharing stories from their phones and tablets, while readers also created more than 4.4 million story covers and YouTube trailers to support their favourite stories and writers on Wattpad.

Some of the more significant statistics released by Wattpad indicated that user stories are translating well on mobile (85 percent of time spent on Wattpad is via a phone or tablet, while half of the writers on Wattpad have written a story from a phone or tablet.

Someone from every single country in the world has shared a story on Wattpad, and people can read stories in more than 30 languages. Furthermore, more than 91,000 new stories shared on Wattpad every day.

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk is Managing Editor at Betakit. Prior to Betakit Joseph wrote for the National Post, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Regina Leader Post, Techvibes and BC Business Online. Joseph often goes crazy on twitter during NHL and NFL games.