Wattpad Reviews

Updated Feb 26, 2020

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3.6
63%
Recommend to a Friend
72%
Approve of CEO
Wattpad Co-Founder and CEO Allen Lau
Allen Lau
25 Ratings
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IOS Developer in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wattpad full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Amazing people and culture, great work/life balance. Impactful work

    Cons

    Priorities shift super fast so sometimes it feels chaotic but this is expected for a company that is going through a transition period.

  2. Helpful (1)

    "You'd be lucky to work here"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wattpad full-time

    Pros

    - incredible culture! The people and policies here are mindblowingly accommodating - they make every effort to be as accommodating as possible to any and all needs - incredibly focused company vision and thoughtful, strategic approach to seeing it through - Great work-life balance

    Cons

    The company may have some areas to work on, but they're largely being worked on in an effort to continually make Wattpad an amazing place to work.

  3. Helpful (9)

    "Not everything that glitters is gold"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wattpad full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    What most other reviewers noted: - Great location, close to Union Station - Beautiful offices in a historic building - Some kind hardworking people (sadly, not always appreciated)

    Cons

    Where to start? 1. A beautiful facade - Wattpad has a stellar PR and is hungry for more PR/News press opportunities. Sadly, it seems like decisions are made solely on what will make a good headline. Wattpad as a company is all about what's sparkly, sexy and looks good, and this logic is applied both externally and internally. It's all about "being recognized as X or Y," but it doesn't matter if you are a terrible leader or you are trying to sell soft porn to kids, amongst other things. 2. Diversity and inclusion don't mean much without equality. It's common to see positive press about Wattpad being portrayed as advocates for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. But sadly, Wattpad doesn't walk the talk. Smart, hardworking people, get stuck in dead-end jobs, are repeatedly passed on for promotions and get paid ridiculously low salaries. Strangely enough, employers who face this issue mostly belong to visible minorities, are people of colour or are ESL. Yes, Wattpad is diverse, and it's inclusive. Still, if your work, ideas and contributions don't hold the same value as the ones done by others, then diversity and inclusion become another facade. 3. Show and tell culture - No real results, accountability or leadership. Being a leader at Wattpad means being able to shamelessly self promote and generate exposure for the company and yourself in the Toronto tech scene. There is no direction or real leadership. Leadership requires radical self-inquiry, but how can you do this if you are convinced you are the best and immediately ostracize anyone who questions you? 4. High employee turnover and lack of career advancement - You can see it by yourself if you look at LinkedIn or if you keep an eye on the company's website for six months. High turnover of designers, engineers and product folks. Also note that the group with the lowest turnover is the one with the mid/senior-level people (six-figure salaries, flashy titles, little accountability, comfy jobs and lots of PR). So good luck if you want to climb the ladder! You have better chances of doing it somewhere else. 4. Toxic content - I agree with the most recent reviewers, Wattpad faces a moral/ethical dilemma, but no one talks about it. The site is plagued with pornographic, violent, and disturbing content. Only 10% of the staff deals with content regularly, while the rest of the company doesn't even touch it (CEO included). Most employees are unaware of this or look the other way. Unless, a revenue stream is affected, like when they got blocked by google (Adsense) for not doing enough to prevent illegal content, then the company acknowledges there is illegal content on their platform and reactively does something about it. To deal with this cesspool (believe me, I'm scarred for life), Wattpad uses volunteers who love the community and want to keep it safe. These unpaid foreign workers are exposed DAILY to these harmful content, and because they aren't employees, they have no access to support or therapy of any kind. Hey, they get Wattpad Swag! But this means Wattpad gets to moderate its cesspool for free while keeping the facade of being a global company and closing deals all around the globe.

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  4. Helpful (9)

    "Shady practices and shady people"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Content Specialist in Toronto, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Wattpad full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Good office space and location - A lot of talented employees - New branding looks better than old

    Cons

    - Disparity between wage across departments - Exploiting contractors and volunteers - Think they're the "best" and anyone who criticized is automatically wrong - Egotistic management with an idealistic view of the product and practices - Questionable faith in customer and user devotion, people don't actually like you that much - Company is literally a meme, it's a running joke on social media that Wattpad has tasteless content - Asked me if a punching bag will fix my mental health when I said I need therapy for the disturbing content I had to moderate ---- They expose foreign unpaid workers with pornographic, violent, and disturbing content. Their justification is that it "needs to be done to improve the community". Why exploit people who love your platform and want to protect the community when you can pay what they deserve and give back the same appreciation and effort? They pay their senior management 6 figures for being obnoxiously loud about how they're correct and everyone else is wrong. On the other hand, they have to consider "serious justifications and reasoning" for paying someone at all when they sift through disturbing content for their platform. They also don't cover for therapy to mediate the potential mental impact it may have on their employees. They also tried to dismiss a harassment case awhile back and some of the employees involved still work at this company. It's really ironic especially given they always promote themselves with the "so many women work at our company" fake woke statistics. Management will do their most to protect people they like and throw people who they don't like under the bus.

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  5. "Amazing company !"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wattpad full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great work culture. Great teams. Great people to work with.

    Cons

    Can’t think of any at the moment.

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    Wattpad Response

    December 24, 2019Talent Acquisition Specialist

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback! Our company culture and employees are both invaluable to Wattpad and our success, so your input and kind words are greatly appreciated. We look forward to keeping this momentum going in 2020!

  6. Helpful (8)

    "Here is what you need to know ..."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wattpad full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    1. LOCATION - Infront of union station with access to transit and good restaurants. 2. OFFICE - Pleasant office with snacks and plenty of office lunches. 3. CANADIAN - Amongst the few successful big companies to exist in Canada

    Cons

    Here is what you MUST know if you are thinking of joining Wattpad: 1. Inexperienced & political leadership (from mid-level to GMs) - They are interested in making themselves look good, defend their "numbers", playing politics, and justifying their role. This results in poor agile work and top-down orders for engineers and product. 2. Lagging Company Outlook - Wattpad has gone through enough rounds of funding. With its recent funding, tenscent (a chineese company), became its biggest shareholder. This means, the company is struggling to carve its position amongst the big-name competitors - kindle, kobo, etc. It is struggling to monetize its users (which are all younger teens with little to no money). 3. Lack of Talent and Resources - the turnover of talent has been high (check linkedin). Furthermore, company doesn't have resources to properly staff up teams - resulting in pessimistic outlook. Furthermore, jobs remaining open for many months before someone wants to work for Wattpad. 4. Poor Salaries - competitively, wattpad has low salaries. This results in talent not coming to wattpad or leaving shortly afterwards. 5. Chasing PR/News press - somehow the company has been good at promoting itself in the news. I wonder how much they could have accomplished if they put that effort to resolve some critical issues within the company. 6. Moral/Ethical Dilemma - it is an elephant in the room that rarely anyone at wattpad talks about. The users of wattpad are exposed to erotica, sexual fantasies, kinks, and soft porn. Surprisingly, wattpad does little to anything to prevent spread of such content. Case in-point, it got blocked by google (adsense) for not doing enough to block illegal content. Why would they if they make money "engaging" users and earning from ads? As an employee, be ready to grapple with this reality.

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  7. Helpful (2)

    "Fantastic Corp. Culture"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Wattpad full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great Corporate Culture Transparency into current situation Management is very open

    Cons

    None to be honest.

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    Wattpad Response

    September 16, 2019

    Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback! Our culture is really important to us so we value your input and appreciate the kind words.

  8. "Exciting startup with great people!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Specialist in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wattpad full-time

    Pros

    - People - there are a lot of great, helpful people at the company who are genuinely friendly - Work-life balance - it depends on the project, but overall much better than most tech companies I've worked at - Generous vacation policy - Transparency - we have a weekly town hall where there are company updates provided and team update emails - Growth - lots of opportunities to grow your career as the company scales - Diversity - the company really values diversity and inclusion, which is extra important for a global product - Product - very unique product that's leading the industry - Potential - Wattpad has the chance to disrupt the entertainment industry, which is really exciting - Cares about the users; not just about making profits

    Cons

    - Startup environment - things change quickly and there aren't always processes in place so it might not be for everyone - Short-term thinking - decisions seem to be more short-term instead of long-term

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    Wattpad Response

    September 6, 2019

    Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback! We really value your input and appreciate the kind words.

  9. Helpful (4)

    "Amazing company to work for!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wattpad full-time

    Pros

    Great people, great mission, flexible hours, interesting work

    Cons

    None that I can think of.

    Wattpad Response

    January 25, 2019Talent Acquisition Manager

    Thank you very much for your positive feedback!

  10. Helpful (20)

    "Junior and Inexperienced leadership"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Wattpad full-time

    Pros

    Cool product, great peers and nice downtown location closer to union station

    Cons

    Product group is very toxic and no room for diversity of thoughts and gender. The leadership is inexperienced. My way or high way mentality permeates in the product group, and if you do not stoke egos, be prepared to be laid off because of “budgets”. Exaggerating results to look good is very common. Hire more experienced product leaders. The company’s way of innovation to copy the competition is unoriginal. Dire need of innovation.

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    Wattpad Response

    January 25, 2019Talent Acquisition Manager

    In response to your review, we have a message from Seema Lakhani, Head of Product, Wattpad: "I’m sorry to hear about your experience with our Product Team, particularly since 80% of the team are women, an underrepresented group in this field. We’ve gone to great lengths to create a diverse and inclusive team at Wattpad, creating one of the most diverse teams in tech by ensuring everyone’s voice is heard. As a result, 56% of Wattpad employees are women. This includes 50% of our Leadership Team, 50% of our User Experience and Design Team. I also want to stress our commitment to diversity, what we’ve done and what we continue to do to invest in and ensure everyone belongs." https://company.wattpad.com/blog/2018/8/23/diversity-inclusion-at-wattpad-building-a-company-for-everyone

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