If you like your erotica like you like your restaurant recommendations, (crowdsourced and free), then Wattpad has an app for you: It’s called After Dark, and it’s a free app that curates content from Wattpad’s social network for readers and writers that specifically offer titillation and romance. After Dark’s stories are divided by category to help fans find the stories best suited to their tastes, and the app carries a 17+ rating in the App Store, so you know it’s going to be good.
After Dark was actually a side project created in the experimental Wattpad Labs portion of the company where staff are encouraged to pick at projects not included in the general thrust of day-to-day business. It was a project born of the company’s Hack Friday, which is a monthly internal hackathon, and built over just two short weeks before being launched quietly earlier this month. It has racked up over 8,000 downloads, and Wattpad says it’s benefitting from a spike in interest in this kind of fiction following the release of 50 Shades of Grey in theaters.
In fact, romance is one of Wattpad’s most popular genres, with over 23 million titles fitting that general description uploaded to the writing sharing network. Overall, Wattpad now claims 40 million active monthly users, with 100 million uploads total and 24 hours worth of new reading material posted every day across all categories.
Wattpad is still questing for a really solid funding model despite its considerable engagement and continued growth, but it’s ability to tap into the desires of its users seems to be one area where it has things well figured out.