Wattpad Introduces Interactive Chat Stories with Tap Originals

Wattpad’s Tap chat stories turn text message conversations into a new form of storytelling, and today the Toronto-based company unveiled a major update to the app with the launch of Tap Originals.

Developed in partnership with writers, Tap Originals are serialized interactive stories that weave features like video, sound and voice notes into its standard chat story.

Tarun Sachdeva, general manager of Tap by Wattpad, said Tap Originals is allowing Tap to take a bigger part in creating and curating stories.

“Sometimes a storyteller comes to use with an idea. Sometimes we’ll go to them with a concept. It’s a partnership we’ve been building over the past few months and years,” he said. “It’s one more way we are taking a stronger role in the production of stories and new story experiences.”

The app is releasing two Originals stories tomorrow with more coming in the following weeks. The first two stories are both horror, a genre well-suited for an app that builds anticipation by requiring users to tap and unveil text as they read.

“Horror is a great playground for that kind of storytelling. This group of Tap Originals are based on some of Tap’s most popular stories. We’re creating a second and serialized versions of those stories,” Sachdeva said.

Since Tap’s launch earlier this year, more than 300,000 chat-based stories have been created, resulting in two billion in-app taps globally.

“What we found is this format is leading to new types of stories being told, new kinds of immersion, [and] new kinds of participation that is forming from it,” Sachdeva said.

The Toronto company has evolved into an entertainment enterprise over the past few years as it embraced new ways for users to write and read stories. In June, Wattpad launched Wattpad Labs, an innovation lab for emerging storytelling products.