Tiktok sister app Lemon8 is exploding in popularity despite ties to China
Lemon8 is on the rise with 650,000 U.S downloads in less than two weeks and currently ranking at No. 2 in the Apple App Store for top lifestyle apps. Did you know about the app yet?
What is Lemon8?
Lemon8 is a new Gen Z app owned by TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, which allows users to share videos and still photos. Its interface sort of looks like a combination of Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest — with its ability to scroll through videos and photos and a focus on lifestyle content.
According to presentations Lemon8 shared with marketing agencies in January that were obtained by The New York Times, the app's ideal creator is female, between the ages of 22 and 26, living in New York or Los Angeles, and focused on fashion and beauty.
Like Tiktok, the app features a "For You" column with personalised recommendations and a "Following" section that highlights accounts users may choose to follow. Additionally, the app allows people to create blog-like captions where people have the space to share tips, recipes, and more insights.
The bigger picture
According to TechCrunch, considering the fact that Lemon8 has actually been available since 2020, the recent surge of the little-known app in the U.S. app market is an unusual and dramatic move. It suggests that ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is utilising paid user acquisition efforts to boost Lemon8's popularity in the American market.
While this could be a strategic move to establish a backup connection into the region in case of a potential TikTok ban, it could also raise concerns about the Chinese company's increasing presence in the area.
Nevertheless, ByteDance seems to be pushing to grow the app and eventually make it a significant consideration in the market. As part of this plan, ByteDance has been paying creators in the UK to post content on Lemon8. These creators have played a role in the recent promotional push by sharing positive reviews of the app on TikTok, which has resulted in more downloads of the app.
Despite this effort, it remains to be seen how successful ByteDance's strategy will be in promoting Lemon8 in the long run. As much of the content feels duped from other channels, the app isn’t currently offering anything unique in the social space which doesn’t bode well for its staying power. One to watch!