Nowadays, people are dependent on digital media. If you love sharing photos, there is Instagram. If you are an artist and like to do some covers and video tutorials, there is Youtube for you. And if you are a writer or a bookworm who likes to spend the day reading stories with different genres, there is Wattpad.
Wattpad is regarded as an avenue for both readers and aspiring writers. It is a community where readers are given a chance to connect with their favorite authors; while these authors, mostly aspiring, are given an opportunity to strengthen their market. It is the Youtube or the Soundcloud for writers, they say. One just needs to sign-up for an account, and he becomes part of the forty million users of this site.
The recognition of masterpieces produced fromWattpad by various media and printing establishments served as a springboard for the foundation of the site’s reputation.
As publishing companies such as PSICOM Publishing Inc., Life Is Beautiful Printing Corporation, Summit Media, Lifebooks Publishing, and Visprint Inc. saw its potential, these establishments opened the opportunity for those works in the printing press. Some of those were Voiceless by HaveYouSeenThisGirl, Girlfriend for Hire by Yam-Yam28, Talk Back and You’re Dead by Alessana Marie, and The Playmate by PagOng1991.
Wattpad also gained popularity in 2014 when Viva Films produced one of its most read story, “Diary ng Panget” written by Have You Seen This Girl, as a motion picture. It was a blockbuster hit which launched James Reid and Nadine Lustre as one of the widely known love teams today. Other media outlets like ABS-CBN, Star Cinema, and TV5 consequently produced stories from the site.
Despite the gained popularity, Wattpad inevitably receives a public backlash. Critics, mostly non-wattpad subscribers, say that Wattpad is but a trash bin, full of rubbish works and junk writers which degrades the quality of Philippine Literature. However, some still believe that Wattpad deserves to be commended for engaging the youth into a whole new level of reading and writing experience. As a matter of fact, a proud Wattpad writer, Charmaine Lasar, recently won an award from the most prestigious literary contest in the country, the Carlos Palanca Awards. This now serves as a living proof supporting the credibility of the social site.
For its readers, Wattpad is a place where they can be anything they want. A knight, a princess, or a queen. It gives them freedom from this harsh reality. And for aspiring writers, Wattpad gives them a chance to enhance their skills, to share their ideas and to help them grow as a writer. For them, it is a place where writers’ dreams do come true.