Social media app Snapchat could soon feature video games according to Chinese social media and gaming company Tencent.
Last week, it was announced that Tencent had bought over 145 million shares in Snap. Inc on the open market and not part of the company’s initial IPO in March. The company previously invested in Snapchat in 2013 but details were undisclosed. However, Snap Inc has struggled to make money following the move and has fallen to $12.35 a share from its initial $17 a share.
So how can Tencent help? Well, according to Reuters, Snapchat could venture out into gaming. Tencent has suggested that its expertise in the video games market and ad sales could help Snap Inc to become more profitable.
Tencenpublishessh many games themselves, such as Honour of Kings, but it also owns League of Legends developer Riot Games. The game is arguably one of the most popular games in the world and in competitive esports. While Tencent’s investment doesn’t give them a seat on the board or any kind of power, both sides have indicated that a working relationship is on the cards.
Snapchat said in a filing statement that "ideas and experiences" were to be shared between the companies, adding "We have long been inspired by the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Tencent and we are grateful to continue our longstanding and productive relationship that began over four years ago."
“The investment enables Tencent to explore cooperation opportunities with the company on mobile games publishing and newsfeed as well as to share its financial returns from the growth of its businesses and monetisation in the future," Tencent told Reuters in an email.
So we could see games taking a much more prominent role on the platform in the near future. Gaming sites do already produce content for Snapchat, such as IGN, and gaming events do get coverage including esports tournaments and game launches with special filters. It’ll be interesting to see what this new formal business relationship brings to the platform.