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TikTok Tests New Mini-Games with Users in Vietnam

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TikTok Tests New Mini-Games with Users in Vietnam

Gaming is arguably the most influential element of online culture, and as such, it makes sense for TikTok to lean into gaming where it can, as it looks to maximize its appeal among younger audiences.

Already offering game streaming options, TikTok is now looking to take this to the next level, with the launch of its own, in-app mini-games to boost user engagement.

As reported by Reuters:

TikTok has been conducting tests so users can play games on its video-sharing app in Vietnam, part of plans for a major push into gaming, four people familiar with the matter said.”

The games would be simple, HTML5-based apps, which would be developed via third-party game developers and studios like Zynga Inc. – the kinds of games that were big on Facebook several years back, and have now been built into Messenger, Snapchat and various other apps.

Which TikTok, via parent company ByteDance, already has some experience in.

If you want to know the future of TikTok, look no further than Douyin, the Chinese version of the app, which has been in operation for longer than TikTok, and is used by 670 million Chinese.

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Given this, most of the features that eventually merge across to TikTok have already been in operation for some time – which is also true of gaming, with games being available in Douyin since 2019.

ByteDance has been making a bigger push into gaming of late, as it works to expand its use case, and diversify its revenue streams. And with huge reach, it makes sense for ByteDance to try out games as another means to expand the revenue potential of TikTok, via in-game ads, sponsored games, and more.

There’s no word on a global rollout plan for TikTok games, but it seems likely that the option will be coming sooner rather than later. At a guess, I would anticipate seeing games make it across to TikTok ahead of this year’s holiday season, enabling it to maximize engagement throughout the period.

That could open up a range of opportunities, both for brands and users, while also potentially boosting TikTok usage, and fueling its ongoing growth in western markets.

It’ll be interesting to see exactly how TikTok plans out the integration, and whether social sharing elements will be built into its games to enhance interaction.

Again, it’s a logical and potentially lucrative avenue for the app, and with games already available in Douyin, merging them into TikTok seems like an inevitable expansion, which could become a new trend of note.

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Pinterest Will Now Provide Employees with More Freedom to Work from Where They Choose

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Pinterest Will Now Provide Employees with More Freedom to Work from Where They Choose

Pinterest is moving to give its staff more lifestyle flexibility via an expansion of its ‘PinFlex’ employee incentive program.

As of July 1st, Pinterest will allow eligible full-time employees to spend up to three months working outside of their country of employment, over a rolling 12-month period. 

As explained by Pinterest:

“We listened to feedback shared by employees and added this flexibility to empower everyone to do their most impactful and inspired work. Our Pinners are global, and we know that having worldly perspectives in our company to support them – both at the technological level and the human level – will enable us to deliver on our mission to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love.”

The new benefit will be available to all Pinterest employees who’ve been at the company for at least six months, while those who’ve been with the company for less than six months will be able to work outside of their country of employment for up to 30 days in total.

That will provide a heap of opportunity to travel and continue to work, which further leans into the new norms of the modern workforce, with the pandemic-induced work-from-home shift opening new doors for consideration on this front.

Which, really, all businesses and governments should be exploring. Many of the most significant environmental and infrastructure challenges of modern society are based on centralized labor, with the majority of workers congregating into metropolitan hubs in order to maximize career opportunities. But again, as the pandemic has shown, many jobs can be done from home, which, if that were to become the norm, could reduce traffic congestion, bring down property prices, lessen employee expenses, etc. That could also lead to new opportunities for regional towns, and reinvigorate more areas of the economy. There are impacts and benefits to assess in all elements, but it seems like a worthy push for governments to consider as they seek ways to democratize opportunity and growth.

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Which is where Pinterest’s new initiative could be truly beneficial, not just to its employees, who can now work from the beach for three months of the year, but also to the transient towns that could benefit from ongoing business.

It’s an interesting concept, which again leans into broader workforce trends, and could lead the way for other businesses.

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