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With a deeply-engaged community of close to 3 million users in India, who spend more than 37 minutes daily reading, writing, and engaging on an average on the platform, global user-generated stories platform Wattpad says it registered a significant increase in user activity during the lockdown, worldwide and in India.
“Lockdown was a critical time for everyone across the country. People were suddenly isolated and were not able to continue with their normal lives. Perhaps not surprisingly, as more people were stuck at home and in quarantine, one global trend we saw early this year was more people turning to storytelling as a way to connect and cope with the situation. Users who were previously readers turned to write as a way to express themselves. A related thing we heard from writers was that people are finding solace in the community of readers and writers around their stories. Writers tell us that being able to connect with fans and other writers have been a positive experience for them right now,” Devashish Sharma, India Country Manager at Wattpad told IANSlife in an interview.
Earlier this spring, the platform saw a global increase in sign-ups from pre-COVID levels, with a more than 50 percent increase in April over early March. Some regions were much higher, likely due to the people being quarantined and social distancing starting at different dates around the world.
From January through April, the number of new stories written on Wattpad grew a whopping 151 percent. In the same period, the number of new writers increased by 125 percent. Writer activity overall increased by 200 percent from January through April.
“In India, these growth trends meant a 50 percent increase in reading time, a 30 percent increase in new stories, and a 60 percent increase in writers,” Sharma shared.
Wattpad, which came into existence in 2006, house stories that went to become some of the biggest recent hits in TV and film: Hulu’s “Light as a Feather”, Netflix’s “The Kissing Booth”, and then hit “After”. As per Sharma, today, they have 50 TV and film projects in development around the world, and to date, nearly 1,000 Wattpad stories have been published as books or adapted for TV and film.
The website and app made its way to India in 2015 to cater to a vast audience of story-lovers and storytellers in this country who shared a love for literature and books. “India is one of the global leaders in producing incredible stories and IP. We want to unlock even more of the amazing stories that are waiting to be told by Indian writers. Organic growth for Wattpad in India has been possible partly because of the high penetration of smartphones and mobile web apps in India,” said Sharma.
Asked about user data and activity, the country head revealed that Wattpadders in India have shared more than 4 million uploads in English, Hindi, and nine other Indian languages (including Malayalam, Tamil, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Assamese, Marathi, and Oriya).
As for the demographics, 90 percent of their users are GenZ and Millennials (between the age group of 15 and 30), 65 percent are female users and 45 percent are from the non-metro cities.
While Wattpad is home to multiple genres, data suggests that Indians love reading sci-fi, and romance that touches on forbidden-love and arranged marriages to name a few. We are also seeing a growing readership for several new-age genres like thrillers and the paranormal.
“With users spending an average of 37 minutes daily reading, writing, and engaging with Wattpad stories, we know that Indian users get hooked on stories and can’t put them down. Users binge on chapters because they can’t wait to know what happens next. What is truly unique about Wattpad is the social nature of the experience, readers can engage in conversations with each other, connect with the author directly, and discuss what they love about a story. For readers, the experience can be very similar to a book club, where passionate book lovers spend their time reading and discussing stories.
“For writers, this creates an incredible connection to their fans. They can hear what readers love about a story, or learn where a story could be improved. Owing to such readership dynamics, we are now seeing established, best-selling writers like Neil D’Silva choosing Wattpad to release his new book on Wattpad to connect directly with his readers. A few days since launch and the book is already a hit, and in just one day, his new story accumulated nearly 10,000 reads!”
What are the future collaborations and plans for Wattpad in India?
“Our vision for India is to continually build a platform that provides writers with an opportunity to tell stories, make money, and be seen and heard in India and around the world. We want to make TV shows and films from Indian writers, and with the largest catalog of IP on the planet, the next international TV or film sensation could be on Wattpad right now.
“We also want to work with Indian brands, to help them understand and tap into the power of social storytelling and long-form content. We’re living in an age when people want more genuine engagement from brands. Gen Z wants to see that brands understand their perspective, which is why our massive and diverse audience stands out.”
Sharma concludes: “Not only is Wattpad a great platform to discover great stories, but it is also a true community of literature enthusiasts, who connect over stories to share thoughts, opinions, and ideas. To add to this, many upcoming writers here in India have chosen us to be their to-go platform to publish or launch their literary works.” (IANS)
Between zoom meetings, webinars, you're walking a tight rope to balance work from home and domestic chores, in all this its easy to forget about taking care of yourself. It's imperative to squeeze in a few hours to indulge in yourself, whether its a massage or a hair spa treatment.
It comes with a range of accessories which includes the 40mm Airwrap long barrels, 30mm Airwra barrels, a Firm smoothing brush, a Soft smoothing brush, a Round volumising brush, the Pre-styling dryer, a non-slip heat-resistant mat to place your styler on, a Storage case and even a Filter cleaning brush. A Storage bag (Iron/Fuchsia) securely stores your Dyson Airwrap when you're on the move.
The different styling attachments cater to unique hair needs and are designed for different hair styles. | File
The different styling attachments cater to unique hair needs and are designed for different hair styles. For instance the 30 mm barrels create and set voluminous curls. With clockwise and counter-clockwise barrels for symmetrical curls. The 40 mm barrels create and set loose curls or waves. The Firm smoothing brush creates a straighter style with less frizz ad fewer flyways, with firm bristles engineered to control unruly, frizz prone hair. The pre- styling dryer takes hair from wet to damp, ready for styling. The round volumizing brush directs air into the hair to give body, and the bristles create tension to shape hair as it dries, Ideal for limp, flat hair. To create a sooth, blow-dry finish. With soft bristles engineered to be gentle on the scalp.
It features three precise airflow speeds, to suit your styling and four precise heat settings, including constant cold shot. The cold shot immediately deactivates the heating element, for cooler air to set your style. The Coanda to curl barrels harness an aerodynamic phenomenon and the Coanda to smooth which uses Dyson brushes to attract hair to the surface of the brush, propelling air along the hair strands for a smooth, straighter style. It's powered by the Dyson digital motor V9, a 13-blade impeller spins at up to 110,000rpm, generating 3.2kPa. Powerful enough to produce the air pressure needed to create the Coanda effect. The intelligent heat control measures airflow temperature over 40 times a second, intelligently controlling the heating element to keep the temperature under a 150 degree Celsius. Preventing extreme heat damage. "Great styling and takes lesser effort than the usual blow drying. Saving lots of visits to the salon, absolutely love it!" says a salon regular who switched her weekly visits to the salon for the at home Dyson experience. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Dyson, hair, hair styles, styling, airflow, non-slip heat-resistant mat, Pre-styling dryer, olumising brush, smoothing brush, Dyson Airwrap
An international team of astronomers has identified 366 new exoplanets, using data from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission. The findings, described in a paper published in the Astronomical Journal, showed a planetary system that comprises a star and at least two gas giant planets, each roughly the size of Saturn and located unusually close to one another.
The discovery is significant because it's rare to find gas giants -- like Saturn in the solar system -- as close to their host star as they were in this case. The researchers cannot yet explain why it occurred there, but it makes the finding especially useful because it could help scientists form a more accurate understanding of the parameters for how planets and planetary systems develop.
An international team of astronomers has identified 366 new exoplanets, using data from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission. | NASA
"The discovery of each new world provides a unique glimpse into the physics that play a role in planet formation," said lead author Jon Zink, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar. The findings could be a significant step toward helping astronomers understand which types of stars are most likely to have planets orbiting them and what that indicates about the building blocks needed for successful planet formation, acoording to the study. "We need to look at a wide range of stars, not just ones like our sun, to understand that," Zink said.
The term "exoplanets" is used to describe planets outside of the solar system. The number of exoplanets that have been identified by astronomers numbers fewer than 5,000 in all, so the identification of hundreds of new ones is a significant advance. Kepler's original mission came to an unexpected end in 2013 when a mechanical failure left the spacecraft unable to precisely point at the patch of sky it had been observing for years.
But astronomers repurposed the telescope for a new mission known as K2, whose objective is to identify exoplanets near distant stars. Data from K2 is helping scientists understand how stars' location in the galaxy influences what kind of planets are able to form around them. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Astronomers, discover, possible, exoplanets, telescope, mission, planets
By Dr Anil Batra
The winter comes with its own set of hassles. New moms have to be careful because they have to take care of themselves and their babies. It becomes imperative to protect babies from the harsh season. The immune system of newborn babies is developing, which makes them susceptible to respiratory infections. But, you can take preventive measures to keep your child warm and safe. Newborn babies need extra care until their immune system becomes stronger to protect their bodies from the harmful effects of viruses and bacteria that usually become more active in the winter season. A drop in the temperature can aggravate different processes in the body, therefore, moms need to take extra care of newborn babies during winters.
New moms can follow the given tips to take care of their little ones and protect them from the harmful effects of harsh winds blowing outside.
Keep the temperature warm in the baby's room: Use a portable heater in the baby's room to keep the temperature warm. The air becomes dry due to the excessive use of a heater. Therefore, keeping a humidifier to balance the moisture levels.
Apply moisturizer: The baby's skin is very sensitive and the harsh, dry, and cold air can make the skin dry. Therefore, apply a good moisturizer to keep it soft and smooth. Choose a moisturizer made of milk cream and butter, especially for children. This will keep the skin of your baby soft.
Massage: Massage is important to keep your baby's skin soft and healthy. Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. Use a natural oil to massage the body of your child. Make sure the room is warm where you massage the baby.
Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. | Photo by Khoa Pham on Unsplash
Avoid using heavy blankets: You can comfort your baby by laying a light blanket to keep your baby warm. Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping. In this process, your baby may pull it up on its face and this can cause respiratory distress. Thus, use a light blanket and keep the room temperature optimum.
Dress your baby comfortably: Choose comfortable dressing for your baby. Avoid wrapping your baby in thick sweaters, gloves, and socks. This will restrict its movement and he/she will become irritable. Choose clothes depending on the room temperature. The clothes should cover his/her baby but should not restrict movement. You can use light gloves and socks to cover your hands and feet to keep your baby warm at night.
Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is the most important activity that can keep your baby healthy. Breast milk consists of required nutrients and antibodies that will enhance the immune system of your baby and will protect him/her against diseases. During breastfeeding your baby will feel warm and cosy that will also give him comfort.
Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping | Flickr
Maintain proper hygiene: Mothers should be careful when handling newborn babies in winters. You will be the first point of contact for your baby. Therefore, make sure you keep yourself clean and healthy. Wash your hands before handling your baby. Germs can easily enter your baby's body through your dirty hands. Therefore, make sure you wash your hands or sanitize them before attending to your baby. Also, ask visitors to wash their hands.
Take care outdoors: If you want to take your child outdoors make sure it is not freezing temperature. Take your child out for fresh air only if the temperature is not too cold and remember to cover your baby properly before taking them out. Taking your baby out will help to give fresh air and will improve their health.
Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters:
Winter brings flu and other viruses that can easily spread and affect anyone. Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters include the following:
- Skin allergies
- Digestive issues
Parents can take care of their newborn babies from various diseases that may affect them in the winters in the following ways:
* If your baby suffers during the winter season, you should consult a pediatrician.
* You can give a homemade solution if your baby suffers from a cold. Check with the doctor and you can only give a saline solution or nasal drops.
* Keep your baby well hydrated. Keep breastfeeding your baby and also give water if necessary.
* Cuddle your baby lovingly and give him warmth along with other precautions.
* In the first winter, you can take preventive measures to take care of your little ones and keep them safe. Maintain proper hygiene and keep your house warm. Avoid visitors if your child is not feeling well.
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. | Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash
How often to give a bath to your baby in winter?
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. You can sponge bathe your newborn every other day in winter. Check the temperature of the room before giving a bath to your baby. The room temperature should be warm and comfortable for your baby. Check the temperature of the water. Make sure the water is not too hot or cold. The temperature of the water should be right for the body of your baby. Check the temperature by touching the water with your elbow or wrist. Use mild soap and shampoo to bathe your baby in winter. Also, apply oil and moisturizer to the skin to keep it soft and prevent skin allergies. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Winter, care tips, newborn, baby, hygiene, breastfeeding, blanket