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TikTok is testing in-app games, and wider availability could happen later this year, report says
TikTok is reportedly making a big push into the video games market as it begins testing in-app games. ByteDance, the developer and owner of the popular video-sharing platform, is expected to expand the experiment in other countries later this year.
Reuters reports that making games available within the TikTok app is expected to increase ByteDance's earnings from advertisements. The move is also eyed to increase the time users spend on the app. At the moment, the test is reportedly being conducted in Vietnam. But sources noted that ByteDance is likely to bring in-app games to more countries in Southeast Asia by the third quarter of 2022.
This is not the first time ByteDance has shown interest in expanding its business with video games. The Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, introduced its first minigame in 2019 called "Yinyue Qiuqiu." The company also established a games publishing division called Pixmain, along with its own gaming platform Danjuan Gaming, in 2020. ByteDance acquired "Mobile Legends: Bang Bang" developer Moonton last year at $4 billion, reportedly outbidding Chinese gaming giant Tencent.
A representative of the video-sharing platform confirmed to Reuters that it is testing adding HTML5 games into its app. The company would not confirm details about the reported experiment in Vietnam and subsequent expansion in other Southeast Asian regions. But the TikTok spokesperson said, "We're always looking at ways to enrich our platform and regularly test new features and integrations that bring value to our community."
Similar to its approach with Douyin, ByteDance is expected to primarily feature minigames for TikTok. These games would be supported with ads and are said to feature less complicated gameplay. But one of the sources noted that the company's ambitions in the gaming industry "extend beyond that." Meanwhile, ad revenue is anticipated to be shared between ByteDance and the game developers.
TikTok is not the only popular non-gaming app venturing into video games. Netflix has already introduced a slate of games that subscribers can browse in-app, but they will be redirected to the Play Store on Android and App Store on iOS to install a game. However, the games Netflix added come without extra cost, no ads, and no in-app purchases.