Welcome back to a Paid Update, which haven’t happened much since the program has mostly stabilized (fun fact, we’re available in all of Spanish-speaking Latin America because countries continue to be added).
However, the Wattys announcement today creates an obvious contradiction to something I’ve expressed previously here, in updates, all over the place. As per my prior words, Paid Stories would not be eligible for the Wattys. Now, they are (sort of).
Originally, we decided against Paid Stories joining in the Wattys at the time of the Beta. The Wattys are about recognition and discovery, and Paid Stories are clearly already recognized by Wattpad and discovered.
Conversely, Paid Stories authors are still very much a part of the community, and we don’t want to create a case where they’re not allowed to take part in the natural Wattpad community. The Wattys is also an opportunity for new writers to showcase their content to Paid Stories, so it’s weird for people to be able to take part in this thing that leads to them not being able to take part in it.
Both sides have a compelling argument. These stories already are recognized but authors shouldn’t feel removed from the community because they still very much are. And hence, the final result: Paid Stories can participate in the Wattys, but they can only win the Paid Stories Awards, which were additional awards set aside for them.
So, if we were going to give out an example 50 total awards, we wouldn’t take away some of those and give them to Paid, we instead added additional awards on top of all the community ones. In this way, users can participate in the Wattys, win a Watty, maybe join Paid Stories, and not feel like they’ve been permanently blocked from participating in the biggest event of the community by doing so.
I wanted to post this largely to show the thought process we went through here and to of course acknowledge we definitely did say one thing and then change to another months later. I don’t want anyone feeling confused or doubt their own memory there.
If you have any questions about this and Paid (but not Wattys cause that’s not me) I will answer them as always. But again, can’t answer Wattys questions cause that’s not me.