TikTok has become a universal water cooler topic. It doesn’t matter what your interest is, for you’ll definitely find it on the platform.

From specific to general, there’s always something to share and talk about. Even though cultural trends first propelled the platform to massive popularity, gaming content has grown tremendously over the last few years — Valorant players can attest to the countless lineup videos they’ve bookmarked.

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At the time of writing, the gaming hashtag has over 500 billion views, while #gamer has over 200 billion. Besides uploading pre-recorded videos, livestreaming is now common. No longer just confined to platforms like Facebook and Twitch, esports competitions are being broadcast live on mobile-centric TikTok as well.

To find out how the company is thinking about gaming and how they plan to serve users better, ONE Esports spoke exclusively with Maayan Kotler, Head of APAC Gaming, Global Business Solutions and Langer Lee, Global Head of Gaming Content at Tokyo Game Show 2023.

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The most fun thing about posting content on the platform is that you’re never confined to just “gaming.”

“One thing that TikTok has done very well is that we try not to stick to the traditional definitions of what gaming is,” Langer told ONE Esports. “Gaming has broadened quite a fair bit in the last few years. I think TikTok has driven that trend and movement.”

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Instead of “traditional interactive gameplay experiences,” we’ve come to expect gaming content to include tons of memes, cosplay, stream highlights, guides, and even reflections about what it means to be a gamer.

Maayan Kotler, Head of APAC Gaming, Global Business Solutions, TikTok, speaking with Langer Lee, Global Head of Gaming Content at Tokyo Game Show 2023
Credit: TikTok

One of the most satisfying campaigns he’s witnessed and is proud of is TikTok’s Women in Gaming program and LGBT movement “Gaymer.”

“It speaks to a niche group within our gaming community that hasn’t had a voice in other platforms. Being able to have that platform is important for these communities,” said Langer. “It has been quite heartwarming and impactful, in my opinion.”

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Besides the inclusion of marginalized communities, the sheer speed at which the gaming community on TikTok is expanding has also been impressive, shared Maayan. Heading the APAC region, she believes that LIVE has great potential to grow here.

A diverse region containing countries with completely different languages and cultures, she sees localization as “an amazing opportunity” to leverage knowledge.

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From a content standpoint, Langer agrees, for they always make a point to reach out to content creators and publishers in every local market around the globe. Local teams work with creators “to speak to the heart of what users actually want in those markets.”

“To be able to provide that solution, whether is it from a commercial standpoint, or whether it’s advice on how exactly to create the best TikTok content for your audience, we have teams on the ground,” he said.

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Ultimately, their goal is to become the number one destination for culture and gaming. While majority of the content on the platform is user-driven, the company is simultaneously working with creators and publishers to create impactful programs in their quest to be the best.

“It’s really more about working with our key stakeholders, our partners, to be able to understand how can we then drive the most impact for them as well as for TikTok’s community,” Langer explained. 

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“Fundamentally for us, it’s all about trying to understand how do we best serve our users and our creators and publishers. And if they believe that we are the best, then I think we have done a good job and we need to serve more,” he added.

There’s no limit as to how they’re willing to collaborate, not only with creators and game publishers but also indie game developers and media outlets like ONE Esports, all of whom play “a very active role in carving out what is good quality content on the platform.”

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