TikTok is already one of the fastest growing in the world social networking platforms where it’s even overtook YouTube at the time of viewing in some markets and sports more than 1 billion active users per month. Now the company is looking to expand the range of activities that its users can do if they get tired of watching short videos. Report from Reuters Today shows that the company is further investing in HTML5 games and has already begun testing. But we understand that TikTok’s gaming strategy may not only be in web games. It seems TikTok is also working on a LIVE mobile gaming feature that will allow creators to better attract fans during a live broadcast.
Reuters reported that TikTok plans to use a set of games from the parent company ByteDance, starting with mini-games that have simple mechanisms and shorter game times. He claimed the trials began in Vietnam. But TikTok told TechCrunch that it was inaccurate, saying that testing games in Vietnam now is not what it does.
The transition of the social video app to the HTML5 game was already known, as TikTok had previously announced its plans alongside the Zynga partnership last year. The two companies have teamed up to launch the HTML5 game “Disco Loco 3D” exclusively on TikTok. And at the time TikTok confirmed that already in discussions with other game makers for similar deals, telegraphing a greater expansion of games is still ahead. TikTok says it has no new partners on this front yet.
In the run-up to the deal, Zynga TikTok has also launched its own Garden of Good game, created in partnership with the nonprofit Feeding America and focused on charity fundraising. It was more like an experiment to find out if TikTok users would play the game in the app.
Although today it is still less of an effort, games can become a significant monetization tool for TikTok if games end up being supported by advertising or later adding paid components such as in-app purchases.
In addition to the previously announced deepening efforts in HTML5, TechCrunch has also learned that TikTok seeks to explore LIVE games separately.
According to an investigation from a company that explores mobile products Vigilantbased in Tel Aviv, TikTok is working on adding mini-games to live video in its app to improve live broadcasts between creators and their fans.
One live-based Watchful game is called “Draw & Guess,” which is designed specifically to encourage interaction between creators and viewers. In this game, similar to Pictionary, players are given words that they then draw on the screen, and viewers try to guess what they are drawing. Correct guesses are shown on the screen.
Watchful also noted that the mobile gaming feature can allow screen access so creators can share their screens with viewers in real time, including their camera, audio, notifications and other alerts. Their games can be shown in landscape or portrait mode, the firm said.
While today several reverse engineers are publicly sharing details about unannounced features that are still under development that they find in popular consumer apps, Watchful has conducted this type of investigation and perfected it with technology. The company uses a combination of computer vision and flow analysis to detect and emulate changes in the program. Its differential analysis mechanism compares versions of applications using real user data and patented computer vision algorithms, it said. The research is also backed by the firm’s mobile labs deployed around the world.
Asking for comment, TikTok had nothing more to share about the live gaming effort, but told us it had nothing to do with the HTML5 games described by Reuters.
Games are not the only way TikTok seeks to improve the TikTok LIVE platform.
Watchful also noted another feature under development that looks like something in between a game and a virtual gift experience. This allows users to add a “Treasure Chest” to live videos that hand out coins after the timer reaches a random set of users.
And it was discovered that TikTok is working on in-app purchases, TikTok Shop, which is now offered in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, mainland China, Hong Kong and the UK. A live shopping bag icon that, when clicked, opens a window where viewers can browse available products with the ability to click to add them to the shopping cart for immediate purchase.
TikTok declined to comment on these other LIVE platform plans.