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Trend Alert: Lemon8

Word on the street is that there’s a new kid on the social media block…

It would be pretty surprising if you missed the news on the recent scandal surrounding TikTok. CEO Shou Zi Chew faced an extensive grilling by the US congress in March, amidst data security concerns. 

Political pressure is mounting on the video app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, as TikTok faces being banned on government devices in the UK and US. 

Despite this, ByteDance has quietly emerged with a new app – and it’s already making big waves. 

In this blog, we give you the low down on Lemon8, the app dubbed to be the next hottest thing for Gen Z.

What is Lemon8?

Lemon8 has been coined as a blend of Pinterest and Instagram. 

The layout features two side-by-side columns of content, with the feed focused on images (rather than videos). This results in a visually-pleasing UI that isn’t a far cry from the old, cherished Instagram aesthetic. 

The app also allows users to share long-form blog posts. Most blogs centre on lifestyle content: food, fashion, health and travel. And, as a result, it’s overtaken Pinterest to become the top lifestyle app on the App Store.

Who owns Lemon8?

Lemon8 is a ByteDance product. 

Lemon8 joins TikTok and CapCut as the third app released under this Chinese developer company. It’s important to note that Lemon8 isn’t new – in fact, it was launched back in 2020, amassing over 5 million monthly users across East Asia. However, it is new for US markets, stealthily going live in February 2023 amongst rising scrutiny around TikTok. 

What kind of content is trending on Lemon8?

Lemon8 is a social media app directed explicitly at creators and Gen Z audiences. 

The app’s vision is to “build the most inspiring and informative platform to discover, share and bring ideas to life”. As shared to the New York Times. Its ideal creator portrait is a “22 to 26 year old woman in the New York or Los Angeles area with a focus on fashion or beauty”. 

Viral pieces of content on Lemon8 are inspirational – think Tumblr aesthetics: soft lighting, visually delectable. Outfit details, food recipes and workout routines are all popular. 

Is Lemon8 different to TikTok?

Lemon8 is like TikTok’s more polished, serious sister. 

Memes and jokes are scarce to come by, traded instead for carefully-curated aesthetics. 

Lemon8 is more of an aspirational app compared to TikTok, designed for users looking to achieve a certain lifestyle. However, this isn’t to say there’s no symbiosis between the two. TikTok creators are already encouraging viewers to follow them on Lemon8, with the hashtag currently having 2.4 billion views.

What are creators saying?

Lemon8 has launched a creator program, with creators paid by Lemon8 to post on the app (as long as they follow post guidelines – such as creating ten posts a month with captions of at least 150 words). 

Hundreds of US creators have already signed up to the app, posting in a phase the New York Times calls “content accumulation”.

In May, the app will turn its focus to adding users and helping creators grow their platforms. Later, in September, Lemon8 will focus on commercialisation opportunities (like helping creators make money from brand and agency deals). 

Equally, the app has invested heavily into creator partnerships, with most of their staff jobs focusing on creator partnerships across the app’s key content verticals. According to a listing, the leads are tasked with educating the creators on the platform, establishing the growth of creator platforms and analysing user insights.

Final takeaways

TikTok’s legal troubles have seen marketers flock to find the next potential social sensation – and whilst Lemon8 is still in its infancy, it’s definitely one to watch. 

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