The social writing network Wattpad rolled out a new update last week for their mobile apps. In addition to bug fixes and performance improvements, the apps now support a new offline mode which enables users to not just read and write stories, but also add comments and vote on stories. With over half of Wattpad's writers having posted a story from their iPhone, this was a timely move which will enable users to continue to interact with stories even in places where their internet connection is spotty or simply none existent - airplanes, for example.
It's an idea that Wattpad has been wanting to implement for some time, but it tooks ome time to get right. Co-founder and CEO Allen Lau said that "One of the biggest challenges was ensuring a smooth transition for users who went from an offline experience to an online one. We had to capture offline actions and then seamlessly process them once an internet connection was established without disrupting the user experience."
In addition to the new offline mode, the apps now also support inline comments. Now readers will be able to comment on specific points in a story, rather than simply commenting on the story as a whole.
Wattpad has grown to be the single largest online community for writers. at the end of 2013, this social network boasted 18 million members who had uploaded 32 million stories since it launched in 2006. Over 41 billion minutes were spent on the site last year, with users leaving 38 million comments and casting 161 million votes.