After conquering social media, TikTok is on to the next thing; gaming. The Chinese company behind the video-sharing platform is reportedly making a huge push for gaming and game livestreaming.
Per reports by Reuters, TikTok is testing games within the app in Vietnam as it plans to make a splash in the gaming space. A spokesperson for TikTok has confirmed the network is testing HTM5-based mini-games. They said, “We’re always looking at ways to enrich our platform and regularly test new features and integrations that bring value to our community.”
Vietnam is ideal for the test as it has a population of under 35 that is 75 percent tech-savvy. Social media use is popular in the country. However, other Asian countries might join the test in the third quarter. As for other markets, there is no info yet on what TikTok will do, but users there can watch games being livestreamed.
Reuters says TikTok will offer ad-supported games from the existing library of ByteDance, its parent company. The network hopes to boost its revenue and also get users to spend more time in the app. The advertising revenue will be shared with the game developers.
Meanwhile, TikTok has experimented with games before. It has tried at least a mini-game playable inside the app. The app is Garden of Good, co-developed with Feeding America. It offers a Farmville-like experience, but users would earn points that they can use to make a donation to the non-profit. TikTok also teamed up with Zynga, the developer of Farmville, to make an HMTL5 game called Disco Loco, an endless runner game that users could play within the app.
TikTok reportedly has more ambitions than simple HTM5 games, as they are just a starting point.
Games are in the DNA of TikTok, as the Chinese version, Douyin, which actually preceded it, offers games starting from 2019. ByteDance bought Shanghai-based Moonton Technology in 2021, effectively becoming a competitor to Tencent.
TikTok has also trialed streaming games with an app called Live Studio for PCs. It also allowed some creators to include mini-apps in their videos.
TikTok will need to be licensed by the government to fully offer in-app games in Vietnam, but that is not expected to be an issue, as the games are simple and do not feature gambling, violence, and sexual content.
TikTok’s advertising revenue has been rising with the platform’s increasing popularity. It is on track to triple its revenue this year to more than $11 billion, which would be more than what Twitter and Snap make combined.
Other companies in the entertainment and social media industries have also been involved in games to retain users. Facebook has offered games for years on its social network and is even pushing cloud gaming on iPhones and iPads through a web app. Similarly, Netflix has been taking gaming seriously, even hiring a former executive at EA.