Douyin, the viral short video app known as TikTok in international markets, is introducing a mini-game into its app, in a move that will put it in direct competition with the gaming and social media giant Tencent.

This is according to a report in the South China Morning Post, which explores how Douyin, owned by ByteDance – which also owns the popular news aggregator Toutiao – is integrating a mini game layer to its app that resembles that introduced by Tencent’s WeChat in 2017.

The first game on the Douyin platform is called Music Jumping Ball (yinyue qiuqiu), and involves players controlling a headphone-wearing ball, tapping the screen to make it jump from building to building to the rhythm of the song. ByteDance told TechNode that the service is still in testing.

A document for developers, seen by TechNode, says that games electing to launch first or bring exclusive features to the Douyin platform – “first game launches”, in the company’s parlance – will be offered larger cuts of ad and in-game purchase revenues.

ByteDance recently surpassed Uber Technologies as the world’s most valuable privately-owned startup at $75 billion. With its other core product, Jinri Toutiao, the company has attempted to move into the mini-games space. Arguably, a social video-sharing app is a far better fit for mini-games than a news aggregator. Gaming is already an important frame of reference to many TikTok/Douyin creators.

As WARC reported earlier this month, TikTok – the international incarnation of Douyin – is exciting media buyers with the possibility of ads on the platform. If ByteDance is able to introduce a successful ad product, the results for the company could be staggering. In the first half of 2018, it became the most downloaded app on Apple’s App Store. Globally, Douyin and Tiktok have over 500 million global active users.  

WeChat is no stranger to gaming success, and will continue to leverage its colossal reach to remain ahead. Its Jump Jump game – there’s a theme emerging – drew 100m daily active users at the beginning of 2018, and attracted global brands like Nike and McDonald’s to advertise in-game.

Sourced from SCMP, TechNode, WARC