Stories have been with us probably as long as language has, and the need for stories appears deeply rooted in all of us. We have come a long way from quite literally sitting around a fire to sophisticated technologies such as video games and 3D movies. Yet even now it is not the technology that moves us but the stories.
In fact for a long period of time, technology both helped and hurt story telling. On one hand, new technologies such as the printed book allowed authors to reach a larger audience. On the other hand, these technologies were costly and required intermediaries, such as publishers, record labels, TV and movie studios, and so on.
The Internet as the latest technology, however, has removed that barrier. With it story tellers can both reach the largest possible audience and can do so without intermediaries. While they can do so using blogs and web sites those aren’t ideally suited to stories (e.g., blogs tend to run backwards) and don’t form a larger community dedicated to stories as each author has to build their own community.
Wattpad is a community for telling and reading stories. Collectively, Wattpad users last quarter spent an amazing 2 billion minutes writing and reading stories on Wattpad. During that time, nearly three quarter million new stories or parts of stories were uploaded and writers received almost five million comments. To learn more about how Wattpad works you may want to watch this explanatory video.
At present I am reading a science fiction story called M.A.I.D.S, which was written by Wattpad user MACThree, who according to his profile is a former pro-wrestler. I will definitely leave a comment for MACThree once I have finished. In the meantime, I have several other science fiction stories already downloaded to my phone.
We are excited to be backing founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen and the team in growing the Wattpad community. We are joining the existing and new angel investors and Golden Venture Partners out of Toronto, which is Wattpad’s home base. In addition to more writers and readers, Wattpad is also looking for engineers and designers.