How many people read fanfiction


Every fandom has what we generally refer to as fan-created content, and amongst this plethora of original works, fanfiction is perhaps the most popular. Ranging from simple romantic stories featuring our favorite characters to complex narratives that completely flip the original story on its head, fanfictions are fascinating expressions of creativity. But how many people read fanfiction? Let's delve into this question from various perspectives.

Online Fanfiction Communities

Websites like and Archive of our Own (Ao3) are popular platforms for fanfiction. boasts over two million registered users according to Sitejabber, a testament to its popularity. Ao3, while not publicly disclosing its user numbers, has thousands of new pieces posted every day, implying a large, active user base.

How many people read fanfiction

They offer platforms for both writers and readers to engage with various fandoms, serving as a sort of digital playground for the imaginative and creative. The sheer quantity of works and registered users suggest that millions of people worldwide read fanfiction regularly.

Social Media Platforms

Aside from dedicated fanfiction platforms, social media also contributes heavily to consumption. Fanfiction can be found on platforms like Tumblr, LiveJournal, and even Twitter. Tumblr, with over 475 million blogs, is filled with writers sharing their stories and recommendations. LiveJournal, while not as popular as Tumblr, has a dedicated community that actively participates in reading and writing fanfiction.

There's also Twitter's micro-blogging platform, which may not be the first place you think of when it comes to fanfiction, but Twitter threads are another way stories are shared and read. It's hard to quantify the exact numbers, but it is clear that a considerable segment of social media users engage with fanfiction.

Reading Habits

Reading habits also greatly influence the number of people engaging with fanfiction. According to a survey by emarketer, the percentage of the population who reads e-books has risen steadily in the past years. As fanfiction is mostly disseminated through the internet, the rise of e-books has likely contributed to an increase in fanfiction readership.

Moreover, Wattpad has reported that readers spend an average of 30 minutes a day on the platform, reading over 15 billion minutes of content each month. This indicates that the reading preferences of digital natives are shifting towards online content, such as fanfiction.

Increased Mainstream Acceptance

Fanfiction's growing popularity can also be attributed to increased mainstream acceptance. Mainstream media like the New Yorker and the Guardian have published articles exploring this phenomenon, further validating its prominence. Fans' desire to continue the narrative journey with their beloved characters, coupled with the increasing acceptance of fanfiction, have attracted many new readers.

Moreover, some fanfiction authors have even transitioned into professional authors, such as E.L. James, the author of the Fifty Shades series, which famously started as a "Twilight" fanfiction. This shows a potential pathway for fanfiction authors to gain recognition and readership by mainstream audience.


While it's tough to pinpoint an exact number, evidence from the above analysis suggests that millions, if not tens of millions, of people around the globe regularly read fanfiction. Online fanfiction communities, social media platforms, the changing reading habits, and the growing mainstream acceptance continue to propel fanfiction's popularity, attracting new aficionados every day.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I read fanfiction?

Fanfiction can be read on various platforms, including dedicated fanfiction sites like and Ao3, larger social media platforms like Tumblr and LiveJournal, and literature-focused apps like Wattpad.

2. Who reads fanfiction?

People of all ages and many different backgrounds read fanfiction. However, it is often most popular among teenagers and young adults, who make up the majority of many fandoms.

3. Is there fanfiction for every fandom?

Practically, yes. If a book, show, movie, or game has a substantial fan base, there is likely fanfiction for it. Some fandoms have more fanfiction than others, but fanfiction is quite ubiquitous.


1. (n.d.). In Sitejabber. Retrieved from

2. EMarketer. (2019). US Time Spent with Media 2019. Retrieved from

3. The Guardian. (2017). How Fanfiction Went Mainstream. Retrieved from

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