MANILA – Blame the literary treats on Wattpad, not infectious games the next time you catch your kid or co-worker hooked on their smartphones or tablets.
From a measly 80 users in the Philippines back in 2007, Allen Lau, CEO and co-founder of Wattpad, revealed that five million Filipinos with Internet access is now on the community, making the Philippines its second largest market just behind the U.S.
Every minute, 10 Filipinos joins the Wattpad community, all with massive appetites for stories. They spend 25 million minutes on Wattpad, with 60% of mobile users accessing the community on an Android device.
Filipinos were also found not just to be avid readers but also writers as well. Locals have uploaded a whopping 19 million stories on Wattpad so far, with 500 of them successfully landing book publishing deals.
Social media and the popularity of mobile and android devices are among the factors Lau credits to be behind Wattpad’s strong fan base in the Philippines, but it’s their creativity and innovativeness that sets the market apart globally.
Sharing with adobo, he adds that Wattpad is getting more synonymous with entertainment as more stories spin-off into movies and TV shows.
Since 2014, Wattpad has teamed up with media networks like ABS-CBN to produce movies inspired from popular Wattpad content like She’s Dating the Gangster and Diary ng Panget. It also turned to the small screen to give life to 40 stories with TV5 and “Wattpad Presents,” a weekly series that has already reached one million viewers nationwide.
“Wattpad now also means entertainment and it’s something we see happening globally. But the Philippines is leading this trend,” Lau said.
Lau will be in Manila this week to attend the 36th Annual Manila International Book Fair on September 20. Wattpad will host a panel in the event titled “From Keyboard to the Big Screen” featuring seven top Filpino Wattpad writers and their success stories.