TikTok Moves Beyond Video With New Gaming Feature

TikTok, Creator Fund, registration

TikTok is making its first foray beyond the world of short-form video by adding a gaming function to its platform.

The new gaming function will let users access games through a button on the homepage, the Financial Times (FT) reported Thursday (Oct. 27), citing unnamed sources. From there, users will find a number of mobile games that feature ads and give them a chance to pay for added content.

The new function could be announced as soon as Nov. 2, when the Chinese-owned company holds “TikTok Made Me Play It,” according to the report.

“Leading publishers are launching games on our platform as culturally relevant entertainment properties, building communities, and inspiring broader entertainment audiences to discover and play their games,” TikTok said in its announcement of the event.

With the launch, TikTok joins companies like Netflix in expanding into the gaming world. Netflix said in August it planned to have 50 games on its platform by year’s end in an effort to boost user interest in the service, which has thus far been low.

TikTok representatives were not immediately available for comment Thursday.

The news comes two days after Google parent Alphabet said it will pay top creative talent to post videos on its new YouTube Shorts platform in an effort to capture a larger slice of a shrinking ad-spend pie while slowing the advance of TikTok, one of its chief rivals.

By launching the new revenue-sharing plan, which it said will kick in early next year, Google becomes the fourth major player so far this month to debut a big move to boost the creator economy at a time when the real economy is, by most accounts, on its way into recession.

“This update makes YouTube the only platform where creators can monetize their content across short, long and live formats at scale,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told investors.