Not too long ago, REACH featured an interview with Allen Lau, the co-founder of Wattpad and he gave us insights on how his awesome mobile app and website became one of the world's most beloved, even by more than 5 million Filipino users. A fact that local book publishers zeroed in and grabbing all of the popular and established local authors, heralding a new era where social media becomes a barometer for what fiction holds promise for publishing.
Even a local TV channel is showing weeklong short series of each romance book under one publisher's library, giving new life to fan made fiction and new leash on young celebrities looking for a media vehicle to push them to more fans.
At the 35th Manila International Book Fair, Wattpad co-founder Allen Lau visited Manila again for a meet up with Manila's rabid Wattpad community.
REACH: Local entertainment media has finally embraced the fan community of writers by offering book deals and TV shows based on Wattpad content, is this a unique Filipino Wattpad community trend or is it also happening in other countries where Wattpad is popular? Allen Lau: Yes. We know that 50 Shades of Gray came from Wattpad, and a film based on the book will be shown in movie theaters 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 official announcements from the producers of the upcoming media shows.
REACH: Wattpad has made a commitment to keep the application and service FREE, but it will be adding premium content and services for users who might want something special for their account and Wattpad experience. 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 was just about text chapters. There were no pictures, nor videos that we could upload. Now, Wattpad is more like those other social networks where everyone can upload videos and pictures. Also, we (at Wattpad) gave more opportunities for the writers to interact with the readers and viewers of their content.
We are reminded how lucky we were to get the scoop of interviewing Allen Lau for REACH magazine and featuring him in one of our earlier issues and getting a lot of good advice about web platforms and start-ups, as well as a sneak peak at the most rabid fan base for writer community stories online.
In a digital age, stories have become even more valuable for all aspects of life, and for kids getting back into reading with their digital devices, this incredible turnaround for a generation of new readers would be impossible without Wattpad, and the most common bond we have with each other--sharing stories.