TikTok doesn’t need an introduction. This social media app has become one of the biggest sources of entertainment for people of all ages. The latest news shows that the app is now planning to incorporate video games within TikTok, with ongoing tests to see if it can enter the video game industry.
These initial tests are based in Vietnam and will ultimately judge whether people can play video games within the platform and have a seamless experience on this social app. TikTok has more than a billion active users, but in order to expand its outreach and grow its audience base, the company has decided to add the entertaining world of video games. The company’s main idea surrounding this is to boost advertising revenues and the total time people spend on the app.
We are still not sure whether or not the platform plans on rolling out these new games in other markets as well, but one thing is for sure, people will likely soon have access to hundreds, if not thousands of games. It may come to a point where users can quickly search for card games, instant win games, and even a variety of slot game themes, and any other games they are interested in, for that matter.
The Question Is Why Has The Company Chosen Vietnam?
Well, there are two reasons — 70% of the population in Vietnam includes people under 35, and most of them are tech-savvy users, thus making it an ideal place for social media to try new growth opportunities. Not only TikTok, but Vietnam has a great market for Instagram, Facebook, and other social media apps that plan on expanding on a global scale. This Chinese app is expected to release a wide array of games in Southeast Asia as well. And we are expecting to see these games being released as early as the third quarter.
Sources suggest that TikTok has tried HTML5 games currently. They are planning to incorporate this set of games into the platform by joining forces with third-party app developers, such as Zynga Inc. These sources have declined to reveal any big pieces of detail about the future plans of the company. However, we can say it does have bigger plans. From what has been revealed, it is clear that the company’s primary motive behind this innovative idea is to grow its audience and income.
Even though they are starting with small games that have simple interfaces, we can see the company has bigger and more powerful ambitions. The social media giant needs to acquire a license for adding games to its platform for the Vietnam audience, as the country has restrictions on games that support sexual content and other activities deemed unacceptable. TikTok doesn’t need in-app gaming to increase its revenue. Even without that, its revenues are surging exponentially, but this is an area that will clearly increase engagement, and that will always be a positive aspect for the company moving forward.
The TikTok Mini-Game Progression
By introducing “mini-games” that can be played within the social video app and revealed through creators’ videos, TikTok hopes to gauge user appetite for mobile gaming. We have learned that TikTok has quietly launched a gaming pilot with a number of new partners, such as game designers Nitro Games, Voodoo, Lotum, Aim Lab, and FRVR.
Rumours continue to grow around the developer of the social video app with gaming giant Zynga. Research shows the two companies worked together to release Disco Loco 3D, an exclusive game for TikTok that was reminiscent of Zynga’s hit game High Heels.
TikTok discussions of a larger gaming development do not go away, with ongoing talks with other game designers for similar deals clearly being worked on. If this wider move is successful, it could put TikTok in a position to become a hub for casual mobile gaming that sidesteps the app stores operated by Apple and Google, thus avoiding the companies’ potential share of future gaming revenues.
Unannounced until now, TikTok has begun testing its mobile gaming pilot in a number of markets around the world, as we touched upon earlier in the post.
The App Monetisation Dilema
One element that also never goes away is monetisation. At the moment, however, we’re told that neither the games nor the in-app purchases are monetized in any way. The primary goals of the pilot are to ascertain whether or not TikTok’s existing gaming community engages with these games, and if so, in what ways, and to what extent users will produce content around the titles. In the long run, things could shift if TikTok decide that this is the way forward.
As far as we can tell, the new TikTok minigames are being developed independently of the games that will soon be available on TikTok LIVE and enable content creators to engage with their audiences during livestreams.
Watchful.ai, a company that analyses apps, discovered that the games had been moved to the “Add Link” section under the heading “MiniGame” recently, though Zynga’s Disco Loco 3D was not updated to reflect this. Our investigations show that these updates have been introduced to the Southeast Asian markets only recently.
When it comes to tech giants branching out into new areas, TikTok is hardly the first to try its hand at mobile gaming. This past year, for instance, Google rolled out its gaming platform GameSnacks across Google Chrome’s new tab page in countries like India and Kenya in an effort to increase its user base and promote its support for HTML5 games.
Asit goes, TikTok’s first partner in this endeavour, Zynga, is an ironic choice given that Zynga is also developing a casual gaming platform for itself. The gaming company got its start by capitalising on Facebook’s ever-expanding user base to promote and market its games. Because of this, it was able to grow into a major player in the social gaming industry and eventually go public. However, Facebook is now considered antiquated among young people, while TikTok has risen to become the most popular app in the world. Meanwhile, Zynga is no longer an independent enterprise. However, if TikTok’s test runs smoothly, mobile social gaming may once again experience growth, with TilkTok and Zyuga leading the way.