A recent presentation by China’s game analytics company, Gamelook, revealed that WeChat managed to attract over 400 million monthly active users thanks to the addition of mini-games.
WeChat is a messaging and social app with over 1 billion users worldwide. However, it’s much more than a messaging app. It has a thriving subset of mini-games is boosting its user base and revenue numbers
The mini-games are not a new addition to the app. They were introduced in 2017 for China-based users and became available worldwide in 2019. The games include multiple features, including document sharing and video streaming.
As a result, the app, launched in 2011, evolved from a messaging tool into a versatile platform for personal and business use.
WeChat started off with a team of only 7 engineers who, in three months, developed the app. In less than a year, it managed to attract over 100 million registered users. After it proved that mini-games are good for business, it inspired a number of other apps to start introducing them, as well.
Other businesses started developing an interest in adding mini-games when it became apparent that WeChat’s global audience enjoyed them just as much as the local Chinese user base. One of the biggest examples is TikTok, which started working on its own in-app mini-games.
TikTok is Experimenting with Mini-Games
TikTok, the popular social video app, launched its first game only weeks ago, but it did it quietly, in collaboration with several partners. Some of the biggest names include Lotum, Voodoo, FRVR, Nitro Games, and Aim Lab.
The launch came after reports that claimed TikTok was planning an expansion into HTML5 gaming. The company tested the waters with the gaming giant Zynga in November 2022. The pair joined forces to launch a unique, TikTok-exclusive game, Disco Loco 3D.
Back then, TikTok hinted at being in discussions with other gaming-related businesses to try similar deals.
At this time, the larger expansion into gaming has yet to come. However, if the move is deemed successful and worthwhile, TikTok could soon become a home for casual mobile gaming.
The company would likely even be able to take a share of the gaming space from Apple and Google app stores and claim a cut of future gaming revenue.
The company’s experimentations with mini-games took place in the UK, where it mostly focused on hypercasual titles.
How to Access Mini-Games on TikTok
The largest challenge for developers and publishers is deciding how to monetize mini-games. Due to the fact that mini-games are quite different from full-fledged mobile titles, they also pose a unique set of considerations.
If you want to see what games are available you can find a full list inside the TikTok app when you publish a video.
The final screen prior to publishing allows creators to add a video description, hashtags, location, and similar details. They can also add a link to other content if they choose to do so.
By tapping the Add Link button, users can include links to numerous experiences using TikTok Jump, and links to apps like Whisk’s recipes, Quizlet’s quizzes, BuzzFeed, etc.
While the games are not directly a part of the TikTok Jump initiative, they can still be found in the same section.
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