TikTok is gearing up for games, including interactive mini-games for TikTok LIVE – TechCrunch

TikTok is already one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world, where it has even surpassed YouTube in watch time in select markets and has more than a billion monthly active users. Now, the company is looking to expand the range of activities its users can do when they get tired of flipping through short videos. A Reuters report indicates that the company is investing more in HTML5 games and has already started testing. But we understand that there may be more to TikTok gaming strategy than web-based gaming. It appears that TikTok is also working on a LIVE mobile gaming feature that would allow creators to better engage fans during the live stream.

Reuters said TikTok planned to build on parent company ByteDance’s suite of games, starting with mini-games that have simple mechanics and a shorter play time. He claimed that the tests had begun in Vietnam. But TikTok told TechCrunch that that was incorrect, saying Vietnam game testing is not something it is currently doing.

The social video app’s move to HTML5 gaming was already known, as TikTok had previously announced its plans in conjunction with its partnership with Zynga last year. The two companies had teamed up to release the HTML5 game “Disco Loco 3D” exclusively on TikTok. And at the time, TikTok confirmed that it was already in talks with other game makers for similar deals, announcing that a larger game expansion was yet to come. TikTok says that it has no new partners to name on this front as of now.

Image credits: Zynga

Prior to the Zynga deal, TikTok had also launched its own game, “Garden of Good,” created in partnership with the nonprofit organization Feeding America and focused on raising funds for charities. This one felt more like an experiment to see if TikTok users would play a game on the app.

While still a minor effort at present, the games could become a major monetization tool for TikTok, if the games end up ad-supported or later add paid components such as in-app purchases.

In addition to its previously announced efforts to delve into HTML5 gaming, TechCrunch has also learned that TikTok is looking to explore LIVE gaming in a separate effort.

According to research by Tel Aviv-based mobile product intelligence firm Watchful, TikTok is working to add mini-games to LIVE videos on its app to improve the live streaming experience between creators and their fans.

A LIVE game discovered by Watchful is called “Draw & Guess”, which is specifically designed to encourage interaction between creators and viewers. In this Pictionary-type game, players are given words which they then draw on the screen and viewers try to guess what they are drawing. Correct guesses are displayed on the screen.

Watchful also noted that the mobile gaming feature can enable screen sharing, so creators can share their screen with viewers in real time, including their camera, audio, notifications, and other alerts. Its games could be displayed in landscape or portrait mode, the firm said.

While today a handful of reverse engineers publicly share details of unannounced still-in-development features they find in popular consumer apps, Watchful has produced this type of research and enhanced it with technology. The company uses a combination of computer vision and flow analysis to identify and emulate application changes. Its differential analysis engine compares app versions using data from real users and proprietary computer vision algorithms, he says. The studies are also supported by the company’s mobile device labs deployed around the world.

When asked for comment, TikTok had nothing else to share about the LIVE gaming efforts, but told us that it was development entirely unrelated to the HTML5 gaming that Reuters had described.

Gaming isn’t the only way TikTok is looking to improve the TikTok LIVE platform.

Watchful also pointed out another feature in development that feels like a cross between a game and a virtual gifting experience. Allows users to add a “Treasure Box” to LIVE videos that doles out coins after a timer hits a random set of users.

Image credits: TikTok app image via Watchful

And he discovered that TikTok was working on the in-app shopping experience, TikTok Shop, which is offered today in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, mainland China, Hong Kong, and the UK. bag icon for LIVE shopping videos that, when clicked, opens a window where viewers can browse through available products with the option to click to add them to a cart for immediate purchase.

Image credits: TikTok app image via Watchful

TikTok declined to comment on these other LIVE platform plans.

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