One of the best ways to promote your creative writing these days is through social media writing platforms. There seems to be hundreds out there to choose from, Wattpad, Figment, FanFiction, and so many more! So how do you know which is the best tool without investing years of time and work into these sites? I’m here to compare two of the most popular creative writing platforms and ultimately lay out which one I recommend and why.
Beginning with Wattpad, here are the stats:
Launched: December, 2006
User Count: As of today, 45 million people use Wattpad as their creative writing platform.
Audience: Geared towards young adults and emerging authors.
What’s it all about? Wattpad is designed to give new writers a chance to become recognized in a community. Each user has their own profile, complete with their own published works as well as what they have read from fellow authors.
Recognition: I have been a Wattpad member for 3 years. When I first joined, it was exciting to realize that there were millions of people out there that could see MY work! If you have good quality work that you are hoping to publish, Wattpad could be a good way to get it off the ground.
Marketing Platform: As with any social media, a higher follower count means more exposure and more potential customers (if you are a published author). Again, the high amount of “Wattpadians” makes this a field ripe for the picking.
Contests and Clubs: Wattpad has monthly contests and challenges that are fun for young authors to join, as well as clubs that designate different genres with the purpose of self-promotion and community. Threads can be created by the users to grow their own exposure and get connected.
Atmosphere: If you have ever been a Wattpad member, you might notice that even though there are millions of users, the creative atmosphere seems, well, less-than friendly. Most people on Wattpad are there for the sole purpose of promoting themselves, so a crucial feeling of community is lost. You will not make friends on Wattpad without some serious work on your part! And that’s not to say that there are no nice people on Wattpad, just that it’s hard to find and really get to know the users.
A Big Ocean: 45 million people. 45 million. The more people, the more exposure, right? Mm…not necessarily. Wattpad has grown so large that it is no longer welcoming to the new writer with no previous recognition. It is so incredibly difficult to get yourself out there when there is 45 million other people clawing for popularity! Small writers are lost.
Contests and Clubs: Wait, wasn’t this a pro? Yes, it’s a pro and a con. While Wattpad does offer fun contests for their users to join, the sheer number of people that join makes it very difficult to not get lost in the sweep of things. Also, clubs are categorized and strictly regulated by genre. This can be fun, except there is nothing outside of those club genres. You can’t create your own club, and it’s sometimes hard to get connected even within the club.
From my own personal experience on Wattpad, it is a great site that grants some exposure to young writers, and, for a lucky few, is the first stepping stone to success. If you are willing to put yourself out there and really work hard, Wattpad can get you the popularity that your writing deserves! It is difficult to find and keep readers on Wattpad, but possible by all means. However, if you are looking for consistant feedback and a place to grow your writing skills in a community, Wattpad is not the place.
Launched: December, 2010
User Count: As of today, there are 300,000+ Figment users.
Audience: Figment is geared towards teen writers and young adults.
What’s it all about? As a creative writing social media site, Figment is designed to be a community where young writers can receive feedback and earn recognition from their fellow Figgies.
Community: After drifting away from Wattpad and discovering Figment, I was absolutely dumbfounded at the amazing community that I found there! Literally, within hours of joining I had several people post a welcome message on my wall and offers to help me find my way around if needed. Seriously, I was shocked! I actually got to know some of them over time and found even more writers with styles similar to mine as the year went on! The community is so warm and welcoming, largely due to the fact that there are not millions of users competing with each other. You will feel at home right away!
Feedback: As I mentioned before, Wattpad is a good place for more experienced writers that are already skilled in writing, as feedback is hard to find there. Figment, however, completely revolves around feedback. You do have to ask for it most times, unfortunately (in a “swap”), but since everyone is there to share work and get critique, it doesn’t feel fake. In fact, most people leave very deep reviews of your work, I mean we’re talking like an entire page of review, breaking it down for you and giving advice and encouragement. It has been so helpful to me in editing my work!
Contests, Forums, and Groups: Similar to Wattpad, Figment has contests and clubs, or “groups,” where users can participate and get to know each other. The groups are unique because even though there are groups made by the admin, users are able to create their own groups. For instance, I am a part of the Ambience group, where we write an online newsletter that goes out every two weeks. It’s a lot of fun, almost like our own newspaper! People can subscribe, write guest articles, and much more. The forums on Figment are also fun. This is where people can really get to know each other and swap reviews and comments, or just talk about anything!
User Count: Even though the lower amount of users can be a pro, it is also a con. Serious writers looking for high exposure probably won’t find the thousands of readers that they are looking for on Figment. Readers are dedicated on Figment, but it simply isn’t as large of an audience as some people are looking for.
Navigation: Even though I love the layout and theme of Figment, I noticed right away that it was hard to find specific users! Even if I knew their actual username, not just their name, the search engine would bring up more book options than people. So for example, if I had heard about a writer that could potentially be featured in Ambience, I’d have to dig pretty deep to find them!
Less Professional Purpose: Figment is designed around a community. It is meant to be a place where people can grow in their writing skills, not a place for already-professional writers. That’s not to say that professional writers are not welcome, however. Tons of professional writers have fan bases on Figment! But it is specifically meant for the small writer to get exposure and lots of feedback.
Figment is an incredible resource for small writers hoping to share their work and get well-written critique. The community is unlike any other, and people really bond over their love for writing! Though Figment currently does not have millions of users, it is growing. And many people actually prefer the small, tight-knit society. For teen or young adult writers looking for a chance to learn (and find a lot of amazing work from their peers), this is the best place to be!
So there is my two cents on Wattpad and Figment. Both are strong in different areas, so depending on the kind of writer you are, one might be better for you than the other. For me at least, Figment has my heart. I love being able to interact with my followers and treat them more like friends than mere readers!
Overall, I hope that this article has helped you in making your own decision! If you already have an account on one of these sites, leave a link below and I’ll check out your work! I love discovering new authors and creative writers!
If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out my top 15 Must-Reads for Bookworms to discover more amazing writing from the classics to contemporary!