TikTok is conducting tests so that users can play games via its video-sharing app in Vietnam, part of plans for a major move towards gaming.
Viewing games across the platform increases advertising revenue as well as the amount of time users spend in the app, which is one of the most popular apps in the world with over a billion monthly active users.
Vietnam boasts a tech-savvy population with 70% of its citizens under the age of 35, and it is an attractive market for social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Facebook and YouTube.
The platform, owned by China’s ByteDance, also plans to roll out the games more widely in Southeast Asia. The move may come as early as the third quarter.
A TikTok representative said the company has been experimenting with bringing HTML5 games, a popular form of mini-games, into its app through relationships with third-party game developers and studios like Zynga. But he declined to comment on its plans in Vietnam or its broader ambitions for the Games.
“We are always looking for ways to enrich our platform and regularly test new features and integrations that bring value to our community,” the representative said in a statement.
It is not known at the moment Tik Tok plans to roll out the gaming features in other markets. Although users of the platform can watch the games that are being broadcast. However, users in most regions cannot play in-app games.
Apparently only a few games have been released in the US, including Zynga’s Disco Loco 3D, a music-and-dance challenge, and Garden of Good, where players grow vegetables to get TikTok to donate to the nonprofit Feeding America. .
Tik Tok conducts tests in Vietnam
The platform plans to primarily benefit from the ByteDance collection of games. While the company starts with small games, which tend to have simple gameplay mechanics and a short playing time, its gaming ambitions go beyond that.
TikTok needs a license to display games on its platform in Vietnam, where authorities restrict games depicting gambling, violence and sexual content. The process is expected to go smoothly as the planned games are not controversial.
Users of Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, have been able to play games on the platform since 2019. It is likely that platform games will carry advertisements from the start, with revenue being shared between ByteDance and game developers.
TikTok’s entry into games reflects similar efforts by major tech companies seeking to retain users. Facebook launched Instant Games in 2016. The streaming company Netflix also recently added games to its platform.
It also represents ByteDance’s latest effort to establish itself as a major competitor in gaming. The company acquired Shanghai-based game studio Moonton Technology last year, putting it in direct competition with Tencent, the largest game company in China.
Even without playing games, the platform saw an increase in ad revenue. Its advertising revenue is likely to triple this year to more than $11 billion. This exceeds the combined sales of Twitter and Snap.