As of 2022, the value of the gaming industry is predicted to reach $197bn, with the largest share going to mobile gaming and its projected merit of $152bn. Within the span of a few months, social media platforms have opted to discontinue their ventures into gaming, in particular mobile gaming, despite the market’s continued growth. However, TikTok is looking to go against the grain. The short-form video platform is conducting a leadened push into the gaming sector with a global gaming event, and investment in mobile gaming options.
TikTok Announces First Ever Global Gaming Event
TikTok is the catalyst within new trend emergence, discovery and curation. Many believe it has replaced Reddit as the number one platform for new trends, and with hashtag communities like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, who are we to disagree? ‘TikTok Made Me Buy It’ is a trend in which users showcase a product they purchase due to the influence from TikTok.
Now, we’re seeing a new trend emerge on the platform. ‘TikTok Made Me Play It’ is the platform’s first ever global gaming event. Developed to bring together TikTok’s most popular gaming creators, as well as some of the top brands from within the gaming sector, the event aims to highlight the scale of gaming on TikTok
“The future of gaming is here – and it’s happening on TikTok. 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. Now, your mission is simple: discover why TikTok is the gaming industry’s #1 gateway to growth.” Explained TikTok.
‘TikTok Made Me Play It’ will offer an insight into the role that TikTok now plays within game promotion, engagement and the key trends within the vertical. TikTok is hoping that the numbers generated by the event will subsequently transform the way we perceive gaming content, and TikTok’s influence over gaming as a whole. As we know, YouTube and Twitch are the largest social media platforms for gaming content, their infrastructure is set up for gaming creators to thrive. TikTok, on the other hand, isn’t fundamentally set up for traditional gaming content, yet there are large gaming figures on the platform and brands that continue to invest.
Gaming is arguably the biggest influencer of online culture, with an influx of top platform creators having a route back to gaming in one way or another. Gaming saw a huge turnover during the pandemic, with many people switching on their consoles and PC’s as their main social outlet – which is now a small fragment of the thinking behind the metaverse.
Is Gaming Big On TikTok?
Back in August, TikTok published an overview of key gaming content trends and behaviors collected from within the app. The document was aimed at marketers, and ways in which those in the profession could tap into the conversation to boost their messaging amongst desired audiences.
As explained by TikTok:
“Gamers from around the world flock to TikTok to create and enjoy gaming content. In fact, more than half of TikTok users watch gaming-related short video content daily. The immersive, full-screen, sound-on short video format lends itself perfectly to sharing gameplay clips, walkthroughs and tutorials, cosplay and other forms of game fandom.”
The takeaway? More than half of TikTok users watch gaming content daily. For an app that specializes in short-form video – something not traditionally linked with gaming content – the data is there to suggest that TikTok is primed for gaming.
TikTok Invests in Mobile Gaming
TikTok’s big push into the gaming sector is fast approaching. The app is planning on implementing its very-own dedicated gaming tab, driving gaming content further than it’s been before.
This is not the first time a video platform has extended its reach into gaming. Netflix launched a line of mobile games last year, filling the void created by Snapchat and Facebook after the two platforms opted to discontinue their gaming channels. Users on TikTok will soon see a host of mobile games, and for brands looking to capitalize, there’ll be an abundance of advertising opportunities.
The new channel could be announced very soon, with “TikTok Made Me Play It” on the horizon, what better chance to promote a new offering?
The creation of its gaming channel comes after various tests in Vietnam earlier this year, as reported by Reuters. Throughout the summer, TikTok rolled out a new feature that enables video creators to link to simple games, which were playable via pop-up web browsers.
Social media outlets have tended to face tough resistance in this space. Snap recently declared it would discontinue investment in gaming. Facebook too has announced that it is severing its ties with its gaming app, just two years after its launch. Google can be painted with the same brush. Earlier this month the search engine decided it would discard Stadia, the cloud-based group once labeled as “the future of gaming”.
As a whole, the mobile gaming industry is seeing an upturn in growth, with projected revenues of $128bn in 2026. It’s worth noting that the total spend on mobile gaming outweighs that of both console and PC combined, reports games analysts Omdia.
Can TikTok Compete With YouTube and Twitch in The Gaming Space?
Despite an incredibly competitive market, there is plenty of room for TikTok to make a statement in the mobile gaming space. Through improving discoverability alone, TikTok can enhance the scope of gaming capabilities within the platform. Adding in a new dedicated gaming tab is certainly a step in the right direction for the platform to assume a larger portion of the gaming market share that is currently occupied by YouTube and Twitch, primarily because this offering is not available across the two competitor platforms.
TikTok’s push into gaming is highly anticipated, along with the results of their first ever global gaming event, and new mobile gaming options. If you’re not a brand, you should still consider signing up for TikTok Made Me Play It as there are bound to be opportunities to spark new thinking around your approach.
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