Over the past few weeks, a new social media app called Lemon8 has been making waves in the United States. Developed by a private firm based in Singapore called Heliophilia Pte. Ltd., the Lemon8 app is actually a product of ByteDance, the parent company of popular apps like TikTok and CapCut.
Despite being around in Japan and Thailand for some time, Lemon8 was relatively unknown in the US until recently. However, after ByteDance paid social media influencers to promote the app on TikTok and Instagram, Lemon8 quickly climbed the charts and is now the number one lifestyle app in the US App Store.
In this article, we will dive into more details about this new app sensation and why it could become the next Instagram.
Often described as a cross between Instagram and Pinterest, Lemon8 is a content curation platform that unlike TikTok emphasizes photos over videos. Its user interface is reminiscent of Instagram’s early days, with a focus on curated aesthetics and long blog-style posts. Users can find content related to food, fashion, health, and travel, and creators can tag clothes in their photos for users to find designs.
However, unlike most social media apps, there is a lack of social aspects on Lemon8. Instead, the app is directed towards content creators and aims to be “the most inspiring and informative platform to discover, share, and bring ideas to life,” according to the New York Times.
As of this writing, Lemon8 has over 17 million downloads in the Google Play Store and it reached its highest search interest peak on Google in the first April week of 2023.
This new social media platform is a direct competitor of a popular app in the East called Xiaohongshu, or Little Red Book in English. In China, Little Red Book holds a large share of the social networking and e-commerce market, and Lemon8 hopes to achieve similar success in the West.
Many micro-influencers with 1,000-3,000 followers on Instagram or TikTok have already joined Lemon8, and most of the posts on the app include #Lemon8partner, indicating that creators were paid to post content on the app. ByteDance is also compensating creators for posting content on the platform and has established a team in New York to manage partnerships with creators as part of its expansion strategy, according to a previous report by Insider.
Yes. There is no evidence so far that Lemon8 is a scam or some form of spying software. However, the app reportedly shares the same algorithm as TikTok, which has faced scrutiny over its data privacy policies. As regulatory pressure mounts, with some states even considering a ban on TikTok, the future of Lemon8 may seem uncertain.
However, given its rising popularity, it seems there will be no shortage of new social media apps seeking profit in the US market.
As seen lately with other Asian apps like Temu, which has become the No.1 downloaded Shopping App in the US in August 2022, Lemon8 has all the right ingredients to become the next big social media app in the Western world.
Contrary to competitor apps like Instagram, Lemon8 is focused on influencer marketing rather than instant content creation which could be an opportunity for marketers to promote their brands.
Since the social factor is missing so far it raises the question of whether the number of interactions on this new phenomenon will ever reach the ones we know from apps such as Instagram.
However, as the Lemon8 app is growing into a Pinterest lookalike it may help users get food, wellness, and fashion inspirations which could help influencers and ultimately brands they promote grow in the social commerce environment.
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