7 Features Wattpad Users Really Want
In the last few years, Wattpad has cut popular features like their activity feed and writer forums and introduced new options like custom homepage filters and user reactions. Here's what we wish they had added instead...
Wattpad has been struggling to appropriately handle mature content for years. Until 2018, they had a separate app (Wattpad After Dark) intended for mature content. Most mature content was otherwise banned from the app, despite popular mature stories like After being mostly left uncensored. But all "mature" content is now lumped together, including topics like self-harm and graphic violence in the same category as explicit sex. A quick fix would be to have subcategories for mature-rated content, so readers can easily search for the kind of stories they're looking for.
Book Club Functionality
Wattpad users have been organizing their own book clubs for years, but after the closing of their writer forums, that has been more difficult. We'd love to see a group-chat function for reading groups. A live chat option built into the book itself would be ideal, but any improvement to social reading tools would be a major bonus for readers.
Trigger Warning Tags
In the current platform, trigger warnings are given only when the author manually types them in. Some add them at the beginning of a story, others by chapter, and many forgo them entirely. A universal system would be incredibly simple to implement and would allow readers to filter out search results based on their own personal triggers.
Private Library Categories or Notes
Wattpad recently updated the library to include custom sorting options and reintroduce unlimited offline books, two requests that had been at the top of many users' lists for a while. We'd love to see them take it a step further, by enabling private reading lists or private notes on books. Even quick tags like "Currently Reading" or "Read Next" would go a long way to help organize the typically overloaded reading lists of most users.
If you've ever purchased a book on Amazon that is part of a series, you've probably seen that they offer a full list of books in any series by clicking on the series name. Several of Wattpad's major titles, like After and The Kissing Booth, are part of a series. Currently, you can only find an entire series by going to an author's profile and looking at their entire list of works. We want a series title option that readers can click and see every book in the series. And when we finish one book, we'd love to see a suggestion to keep reading the next book in line.
Image Alt Tags
One of the benefits of e-reading through apps like Wattpad is the availability of multi-media content that incorporates photos, animations, illustrations, and video into the text of stories. Unfortunately, media only loads when the app is connected to the internet. That means offline users, as well as users who use a screen reader to access the app, simply see a blank image placeholder. An easy fix would be for Wattpad to enable "alt tags", a field where authors can type in a brief description of the content in the photo. It would go a long way toward accessibility and improve the offline experience for everyone.
If you've ever tried to share a link in Wattpad, you know that it's a challenge. Links only work in the comments—and only on the computer, not in the app. We can understand Wattpad not wanting to allow external links, but they don't even allow users to link to other Wattpad content. The app should have a simple way to link to other books and reading lists on the platform.
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What do you want to see from Wattpad? Share your ideas in the comments...