Wattpad is a social storytelling platform where users connect with your favourite writers, read and write original stories.
With Wattpad, you can discover millions of eBooks on every genre that is out there and add them to your reading list. Not only that, but you can also follow your favourite writers and get notified whenever they publish something. Coming to the writing part, you can create your own book and publish it on their platform. Users can also private message with others.
Our research found 85% of Wattpad’s 45 million-plus readers are between the ages of 13 and 30. 50% are under the age of 18.
Wattpad has been given a minimum age limit of 13, but the age limit is 17+ if downloading this via the Apple App Store and given a ‘Parental guidance’ notice via the Google Play store.
Some categories are age-appropriate for children and some are not which children can easily access. Categories range from Adventure, LGBTQ+, Fanfiction to Romance. There is also a ‘New Adult’ category which contains erotic, relationship, romance stories – titles such as ‘booty call’, ‘I slept with my stepbrother’ were found also ‘smut’ stories containing sex and inappropriate language.
Other content we have come across may be concerning for younger kids, such as:
Tagged content – Prohibited material such as this can easily be discovered throughout Wattpad via searching tags such as #self harm, #dirtyimages for example.
Rating a story – You can set an age ranking as either ‘Mature’ or for ‘Everyone’. Wattpad’s mature or ‘new adult’ stories are given an age ranking of 17+ however users under this age can still have access to these stories.
So it is important to be vigilant to what your child is reading or writing as they are likely to come across these inappropriate stories. See our tips and Wattpad’s privacy and security settings you can implement below.
Wattpad features a number of functions to help your child stay safe on the platform:
Wattpad says: ‘they will not allow users under 13s to sign up (when using the app) – automatically blocks registration. The site moderators will also terminate accounts if they learn someone is under 13.’
Follow the step by step security features mentioned above. Get involved in your kids’ Wattpad experience. If they know that you’re interested in the things that matter to them, it’ll get them in the habit of talking to you about what they do online.
Having a family agreement or a set of ground rules for using social platforms is a good idea. It’s a great way for parents and children to work together on how to be safe, wise and responsible online. Here are some ideas:
See articles and resources to help children stay safe online.