TikTok reportedly looking at gaming – because you don't spend enough time on the app

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

TikTok, the wildly popular social media platform with 1 billion monthly active users, apparently believes you don't spend enough time consuming Toks. 

The company, which is owned by the Chinese conglomerate ByteDance, is readying a significant push into gaming and has started with tests in Vietnam, according to a new report from Reuters.

Unlike TikTok videos, which can last from 15 seconds to 30 minutes, games could keep users engaged for far longer, especially if the platform introduces games of skills that frustrate users and compel them to try over and over again until they win. Reuters notes that games would keep members on the app longer – though one wonders if the plethora of live-streaming videos currently available aren't already doing that.

The company more or less confirmed its plans to Reuters, commenting that it's been testing HTML 5 (low-bandwidth, browser-friendly) games on TikTok. In fact, you can find at least one of them right now in the US.

Mobile game make Zynga has a game called Disco Loco 3D (see image below). It's a Beat Saber type game where you control a tiny dancer, swiping back and forth on the screen so she can meet up with hearts and avoid obstacles.

The game is not a traditional TikTok video. Instead, it's a custom filter built by Zynga. You must first find the Disco Loco 3D account and then tap on the promoted filter to start playing. From here, it feels like a rudimentary, if fun, mobile game. Did it keep us on TikTok longer? No, not today, at least.

TikTok Game

TikTok Game Disco Loco 3D (Image credit: Future)

Do we need this?

TikTok is popular enough that virtually every other social media platform, including SnapChat, Facebook, and Instagram, is concerned about how to compete with TikTok's addictive video stream. They've all built products to compete with 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 out a complete library of mobile games could be one way, but will these games ever feel native to the platform that made an unlikely star out of Charli D'amelio?

Also, an effort to keep us on a platform that is probably causing too many of us to lose sleep and tune out others? A platform that's likely shifting our brain chemistry by showing us people that seem prettier, smarter, funnier, or at least better dancers than us? Maybe not necessarily a great idea.

Why can't TikTok just keep on being TikTok?

Curious how to change or manage your TikTok password? We've got you covered.

Lance Ulanoff
Editor At Large

A 38-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of PCMag.com and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.

Lance Ulanoff makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.