TikTok, the popular social media app, is trialling in-app games in the UK as it leans further into gaming with as many as 14 examples live so far, according to mobilegamer.biz.
TikTok has been a bonafide social media sensation over the past few years, forecast to be the runner up to monoliths such as Facebook and Twitter. Now, it’s trialling bringing games into its media ecosystem.
These minigames are playable via the app itself with no purchase or even download necessary, and prompts to record and share gameplay. It’s not the first time they’ve been trialled however it does seem to be the first time they’ve been available in the UK.
The games cover a wide variety of genres, including runners, gate-games, the ever popular “makeover” genre and more. Although many are typical hypercasual fare there are some more substantial games on board such as Kitten Force, a top-down shoot ‘em up featuring a Nyan Cat-like player character.
What’s the benefit to TikTok?
As social media ecosystems continue to compete for space and attention, bringing value to apps has been essential for driving up engagement. One way to do that is to bring other means of entertainment, such as games, into an otherwise unrelated app. TikTok has also been hyping its usage in the promotion of games with events such as “TikTok made me play it," something that many games on mobile such as Survivor.io have actually benefited from as pointed out by analyst Matej Lancaric on his blog.
The inclusion of many casual and hyper casual-style games makes it clear that TikTok is not expecting to appeal to a hardcore gaming crowd any time soon. The ease of usage and play is also a particularly important aspect, as without the hurdle of leaving the app, downloading or making purchases, attention remains squarely on TikTok, which utilises short video formats to maintain user attention on the app. The exact benefits to developers and publishers of this new break into games has not yet been made clear, although the inclusion of IAP’s - with a cut to TikTok - are possible.