TikTok, the hugely popular social media platform with 1 billion monthly active users, apparently thinks you’re not spending enough time consuming Toks.
The company, which is owned by Chinese conglomerate ByteDance, is planning a significant push into gaming and has started with testing in Vietnam, according to a new report from Reuters.
Unlike TikTok videos, which can last anywhere from 15 seconds to 30 minutes, games could keep users engaged for much longer, especially if the platform introduces skill games that frustrate users and force them to try again and again until what they earn. Reuters notes that the games would keep members on the app for longer – although one wonders if the plethora of live videos currently available aren’t already doing so.
The company more or less confirmed its plans to Reuters, saying it was testing HTML 5 (low-bandwidth, browser-friendly) games on TikTok. In fact, you can find at least one right now in the United States.
Mobile game brand Zynga offers a game called Disco Loco 3D (see image below). It’s a Beat Saber-like game where you control a little dancer, swiping back and forth across the screen so she can encounter hearts and avoid obstacles.
The game is not a traditional TikTok video. Instead, it’s a custom filter built by Zynga. First you need to find the Disco Loco 3D account and then tap on the promoted filter to start playing. From there, it feels like a rudimentary, albeit fun, mobile game. Did it keep us on TikTok longer? No, not today, at least.
Do we need this?
TikTok is popular enough that virtually every other social media platform, including SnapChat, Facebook, and Instagram, is wondering how to compete with TikTok’s addictive video feed. They’ve all built products to rival it, though it’s unclear if any are making a dent in TikTok’s meteoric growth.
Still, TikTok clearly feels the need to defend its position. Building an entire library of mobile games could be one way, but will those games ever feel native to the platform that made Charli D’Amelio an unlikely star?
Also, an effort to keep us on a platform that is probably causing too many of us to lose sleep and drive others away? A platform that probably changes our brain chemistry by showing us people who seem prettier, smarter, funnier, or at least better dancers than us? Maybe not necessarily a good idea.
Why can’t TikTok continue to be TikTok?
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