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TikTok dives into gaming with Disco Loco 3D as fight for average user time heats up

This is not the first time a social media company has leveraged gaming to drive up user engagement.

TikTok will dabble in mobile gaming by collaborating with social gaming giant Zynga, according to a report in TechCrunch. The short-video platform is rolling out an HTML5 game called ‘Disco Loco 3D’, as per an announcement from Zynga. The game will be live on both iOS and Android across North American markets at first.

The company revealed that the game will measure its audience’s general interest in gaming within the app; the game has not been monetised yet, TikTok informed TechCrunch, adding that there are no in-app purchases or revenue share on the game’s earnings.

TikTok’s collaboration with Zynga will not be an exclusive one as the platform is engaged in discussions with other game makers as well, TechCrunch reported. The Zynga press release described the game as a “single-player endless runner game where players collect their own dance moves while challenging friends and followers on the popular entertainment platform”.

Major social media platforms like Netflix, Facebook, and Google are all betting big on gaming in order to entice users to spend more time on their platforms. HTML5-based mobile gaming is often leveraged to reach a large number of global users, especially in emerging markets where consumers may not own sophisticated phones or be able to afford data plans, TechCrunch explained. 

Social media companies’ tryst with gaming

This is not the first time a social media company has leveraged gaming to drive up user engagement. In fact, many companies have thrown their hat in the ring: 

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Google: The company launched its HTML5 gaming platform GameSnacks, which was expanded this year across Google Chrome’s new tab page in countries like India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Kenya. It wanted to test whether lightweight, casual games resonate with people who use the internet via low memory devices on 2G and 3G networks.

Meta: The company, when it was still known as Facebook, stepped into cloud gaming in 2020 with the launch of Facebook Gaming on the web and Android. Facebook has also rolled out fantasy gaming for its users in the US and Canada, as per a post on the company’s blog. 

Netflix: The company is attempting to improve its entertainment offerings by moving beyond movies and television series and the entry into gaming marked its biggest step in this new direction. Netflix formally announced its plans for gaming in an earnings call in July. The games have been launched on Android and iOS.

TikTok introduced a game focused on charitable fundraising on its platform earlier this year called “Garden of Good” built along with Feeding America, a nonprofit. The game must have given the company a taste of user interest in gaming. 

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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