According to a Reuters source, TikTok has conducted a test, allowing users in Vietnam to play games on the app.
Putting games on the app will help increase ad revenue as well as the amount of time users spend on TikTok. TikTok is currently one of the most popular apps in the world with over 1 billion monthly users.
Meanwhile, Vietnam, with a young population (70% under 35 years old) and a passion for technology, is an attractive market with major social networks such as TikTok, Meta (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram) and Alphabet (parent company Google and YouTube).
A Reuters source revealed that TikTok intends to expand the game testing to Southeast Asian countries, starting in the third quarter.
A TikTok representative confirmed that the company is testing HTML5 games, a form of minigames, into the app through cooperation with game developers and game studios like Zynga. However, the company declined to comment on its plans with Vietnam or its gaming ambitions. The platform representative affirmed that TikTok always wants to create richness and regularly test new features, bringing value to the community.
Reuters also does not know whether TikTok plans to roll out the game feature in markets other than Vietnam. While TikTok users can watch the game via the livestream feature, in most regions they can’t play the game on the app. In the US, only a handful of games appear to be coming, including “Disco Loco 3D” and “Garden of Good” by Zynga.
According to the source, despite starting with minigames – games with simple gameplay, short duration, TikTok’s game ambitions do not stop here. TikTok will have to apply for a license to put the game on the platform in Vietnam. The process is expected to go smoothly because the games in the plan do not cause controversy or involve gambling, violence or sex.
Users of Douyin – the Chinese version of TikTok – have been able to play games on the app since 2019. TikTok games are likely to contain ads, and revenue will be shared between ByteDance and the game developer.
TikTok’s attempt to jump into the gaming space comes as no surprise. Other major technology firms also want to retain users in one way or another. For example, Facebook introduced Instant Games in 2016, and Netflix also recently added games to its platform.
It also marks ByteDance’s latest attempt on its journey to becoming a major player in the game. The company acquired game studio Moonton Technology last year, directly competing with Tencent, China’s largest gaming enterprise.
Even without games, TikTok still recorded a strong increase in ad revenue. This year, TikTok ad revenue could triple to more than $11 billion, more than Twitter and Snap combined, according to research firm Insider Intelligence.