TikTok plans a big push to games, conducting tests in Vietnam

Hong Kong / Hanoi: tick tock has conducted tests so that users can play games on its video sharing app Vietnampart of plans for a major push towards gaming, said four people familiar with the matter.

Having games on its platform would increase advertising revenue and the amount of time users spend on the app, one of the most popular in the world with over 1 billion monthly active users.

Boasting a tech-savvy population with 70% of its citizens under the age of 35, Vietnam is an attractive market for social media platforms such as TikTok, Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook and YouTube and Google from Alphabet Inc.

TikTok, which is owned by China ByteDance, also plans to roll out games more broadly in Southeast Asia, people said. That move could come as early as the third quarter, two of them said.

The sources refused to be identified as the information has yet to be publicly disclosed.

A TikTok rep said the company has been testing introducing HTML5 games, a common form of minigame, into its app through links with third-party game developers and studios like Zynga Inc. But it declined to comment on its plans. for Vietnam or its wider gaming ambitions.

Discover the stories of your interest

“We are always looking for ways to enrich our platform and regularly test new features and integrations that add value to our community,” the representative said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

ByteDance did not respond to a request for comment.

Reuters was unable to learn of TikTok’s plans to roll out game features in other markets. Although TikTok users can stream games, in most regions they are unable to play within the TikTok app.

In the US, only a few games appear to have been released, including Zynga’s “Disco Loco 3D”, a music and dance challenge game, and “Garden of Good,” in which players grow vegetables to activate TikTok donations. to the non-profit organization Feeding America.

According to two sources, TikTok plans to draw mainly from the ByteDance game suite.

While the company will start with minigames, which tend to have simple gameplay mechanics and short gameplay times, its gameplay ambitions extend further, said one of the folks who had first-hand knowledge of the matter.

TikTok will require a license to feature games on its platform in Vietnam, where authorities restrict games that describe gambling, violence and sexual content. The process should go smoothly as the planned games are not controversial, the person said.

Vietnam’s foreign and communications ministries did not respond to requests for comment.

Users of ByteDance’s Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, have been able to play on the platform since 2019.

TikTok’s games are likely to contain advertisements from the start, with a split of revenue between ByteDance and the game developers, a separate source said.

TikTok’s foray into gaming mirrors similar efforts made by major tech companies looking to build user loyalty. Facebook launched Instant Games in 2016, and streaming company Netflix recently added games to its platform as well.

It also marks ByteDance’s latest effort to establish itself as a major contender in games. Last year it acquired Shanghai-based gaming studio Moonton Technology, putting it in direct competition with Tencent, China’s largest gaming company.

Even without playing, TikTok has seen an increase in ad revenue. Its advertising revenues are likely to triple this year to more than $ 11 billion, surpassing the combined sales of Twitter Inc and Snap Inc, according to research firm Insider Intelligence.

Stay on top technology Other startup news what matters. subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest and greatest tech news, delivered straight to your inbox.