TikTok Debuts Creator Crediting, Explores Adding Minigames

TikTok plans a gaming ramp-up and is adding a variety of improvements to enhance the platform and improve revenue. At present, gaming is extremely limited on TikTok, but the company is reportedly conducting tests in Vietnam preparatory to a big gaming push. TikTok is also introducing “Branded Mission” to connect creators with brands for possible remuneration. And, after years of controversy over attribution, TikTok is launching a button that lets creators add credits for their inspiration as part of the publishing process, tagging others upon whose work theirs is built.

TikTok stars have been accused of appropriating material from less-known creators. For example, in dance, many top-performing TikTokers have been said to source choreography from smaller platforms, including rival shorts app Dubsmash (now part of Reddit).

Last year, Black content creators went on strike against TikTok to protest on behalf of those “who saw their dances go viral after more famous TikTokers would perform their moves without tagging them as the inspiration,” says TechCrunch.

TikTok’s new accreditation button — which can be applied to songs, sounds, jokes and more — may take care of acknowledgment, but not the larger issue of how “videos and other content provided directly to social media by individuals and businesses with the potential to go viral are a powerful resource that speaks to the complexity of IP rights in a digital world,” writes IPWatchdog.

To access the credit feature, users will tap a “video” icon after creating or editing their own video. Any tags will then appear as part of the caption, says TechCrunch. Those who are tagged receive an alert.

With the new Branded Mission product, “advertisers can crowdsource content from creators and turn top-performing videos into ads,” launching branded campaigns and encouraging creators to participate, TechCrunch reports. Creators who are at least 18 years old and have 1,000 or more followers can take part in Branded Mission, and if their videos are selected will “benefit from a cash payment and boosted traffic,” TikTok says.

With a tech-savvy population that is predominantly under the age of 35, “Vietnam is an attractive market for social media platforms such as TikTok, Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube and Google,” writes Reuters, noting that TikTok, which is owned by the China-based ByteDance, “plans to roll out gaming more widely in Southeast Asia” in a move that “could come as early as the third quarter.”

The company had previously tested “bringing HTML5 games, a common form of minigame, to its app through tie-ups with third-party game developers,” Reuters says.

And TechCrunch reports that Tel Aviv-based mobile intelligence firm Watchful has discovered TikTok is looking to add minigames to its LIVE platform. A Pictionary-like game called “Draw & Guess” and “a cross between a game and a virtual gifting experience” called “Treasure Box” are two games revealed by Watchful.