what is wattpad?
wattpad is an online social reading platform that breaks down the barriers between readers and writers. encourages users to create and share their own stories in all genres, from teen fiction to poetry, action, adventure, and more.
Created in Canada in 2006, Wattpad’s stories range from those in the public domain from Project Gutenberg to those developed by local users who can then publish them for broader audiences. This means that teenagers and young adults can write and know that their work can reach many people. as such, it is important that they understand how to stay safe on wattpad.
wattpad has a variety of features to categorize its stories and different types of content, which can help users avoid inappropriate content or find the exact type of topic they want to read and write about.
Tagged content: Writers who post on Wattpad can add tags to their story that work similar to hashtags on social media. users can then search those tags to find the types of stories and types of content they are interested in reading. these tags also tell users if the content is appropriate for them and should be accurately tagged. users can add blocked tags to prevent viewing specific content.
Rate a story: You can set an age rating such as “mature” or “everyone”. mature or “new adult” stories on wattpad receive an age rating of 17+. however, users under this age still have access to these stories, so it is important to discuss with your child what is age appropriate and why. learn more about inappropriate content here.
Reading List: Users can save the stories they enjoy to their reading lists for easy access. these are publicly displayed on user profiles, which can create connections or talking points between users.
type in the app: wattpad is available in the browser or through the app on your mobile phone. mobile users can essentially type anywhere, anytime instead of waiting until they have a computer in front of them.
Story notifications: If you follow a story or an author, you can receive push notifications to your phone or email address when content is updated. in essence, users can read the story as it is created instead of waiting until all the work is complete.
wattpad paid stories: users can use this feature and earn money from their writing. Just like virtual giveaways on streams or patreon, readers can support their favorite wattpad books and writers by donating coins. These must be purchased with real currency through Apple or Google Play accounts and must be monitored by parents and caregivers.
who is using it?
More than 90 million people use the platform to read and write, dedicating more than 23 billion minutes per month to different stories. 90% of these users are between the ages of 13 and 40 and many of the writers are older teens or young adults.
what is the minimum age limit for wattpad?
According to wattpad’s terms of service, users must be 13 years of age or older. anyone under this age will have their account cancelled.
wattpad hosts different types of content and some of it is adult in nature. Because any user can add a story, it’s up to them to add the appropriate tags. If your teen comes across a story that isn’t accurately tagged, they should report it. users can also filter adult content from their recommended stories.
is it suitable for children?
some categories are age appropriate for children and some are not, which are easily accessible by children. Categories range from adventure and LGBTQ+ to fan fiction and romance with different types of content in each. There is also a ‘new adults’ category containing erotic, relationship and romance stories with titles like ‘booty call’ and ‘slept with my stepbrother’ along with ‘raunchy’ stories containing sex and inappropriate language.
There are several settings to help manage what kids watch so they can stay safe on wattpad.
privacy and security settings
While wattpad doesn’t have specific parental controls, it does have a number of features to help your child stay safe on the app. set them up together to help them understand the setup and take ownership of their security.
- report a story: in a story, tap the three lines in the top right corner of the app. then tap ‘report’. choose a reason and then explain how the story fits with the complaint. tap report to send.
- report a user: Go to the user’s page and tap the three dots in the top right corner and tap ‘report’, then select the reason you want . To report the user, enter the reason and tap ‘report’.
- Mute a user: On the user page, tap the three dots in the top right corner and tap ‘mute’. confirm by selecting option ‘ mute’ again. muting a user means the account will not be able to follow them, send messages, post to their profile, or comment on their stories.
- Manage notifications: Users can manage the notifications they receive or turn off push notifications entirely. To do this, go to your profile and tap the gear icon in the top right corner. tap notifications and then uncheck the relevant options.
- Set Content Preferences: On your home screen, click the icon to the left of your profile picture in the upper right corner. tap the switch so that mature content is not included. go to blocked tags and add the tags you don’t want in your feed. tap save.
- advise them to keep sensitive information private, such as your full name, address, phone number, email address, etc.
- share an account with them so you can monitor account activity
- Show them how they can report any inappropriate content following the wattpad guidelines. if they directly receive hate messages, tell them not to reply
- sit them down and discuss what language and behavior is appropriate to say online. if they wouldn’t say it or do it face to face, they shouldn’t say it or do it online
- make sure they know the community guidelines.
check out our complete step-by-step parental controls guide for wattpad privacy settings here.
help teens stay safe on wattpad
participate in your child’s wattpad experience. if they know you’re interested in the things they care about, they’ll get used to talking to you about what they do online.
A family agreement or set of ground rules for using social platforms is a good idea. is a great way for parents and children to work together on how to be safe, wise and responsible online. here are some ideas:
read more information on the wattpad parent safety portal and its help center.