Lemon8: A Snapshot Of The Next Big Social Media Platform

Have you been hearing your favorite TikTok talk about Lemon8? Are you wondering if this is going to be the next big thing on social media? Or is it perhaps just another fad? We have all the answers right here. 

Social media feels like a mystery bundle. Just when you think you have learned to unravel the secrets there are new features, algorithm updates, and even new social media platforms to think about. One such social media platform that several content creators around the world are talking about is Lemon8. Thanks to TikTok, this app has been trending despite the fact that it’s only available in a few regions at the moment. 

Curious to know what the app has to offer and to understand whether the app will benefit brands? Look no further. 

So, what is the Lemon8 app? 

Marketed as a lifestyle app, Lemon8 is a “content sharing platform”. Most people describe the platform as the perfect blend of Instagram and Pinterest. Because the platform, in a lot of ways, looks like Instagram before Reels. At the same time the focus, currently, is on sharing ideas. Most of the images on the platform are ideas in niches like health, fashion, food, and travel. In this aspect, it’s a lot like Pinterest. 

Did you notice that the app became a trend, particularly on TikTok? Various influencers called out to their followers to follow them on Lemon8. What’s the connection here? It’s simple. Lemon8 is a product of ByteDance. Yes, that’s the same company that owns TikTok

The app is available both for iOS and Android and can be accessed in 6 languages at the moment. 

As of now, the app aims to create a “youthful community” to draw inspiration from. The company markets the app as a place to discover trends and find reviews about products and places. Yes, all that sounds very much like Instagram and TikTok. But the app aims to keep the content more authentic than choreographed. 

Availability of the Lemon8 app 

When it was first launched in 2020, the Lemon8 app was only available in Japan. Slowly the app was also made available in other countries like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. One of the main reasons why the app has recently been trending is because it was introduced to U.S. and U.K. marketers in February 2023. 

The restrictions on Tiktok in the U.S. are the main reasons why ByteDance has been pushing the app recently. With a totally different look and feel, the app aims to fill the gap if TikTok is eventually banned. But given that they are both owned by the same company, the success of the app is still a toss-up. 

As of now, the app has not made it to several countries. But given the current popularity, there is a high likelihood that it will. Having said that, if you are a business owner in the U.S. or a marketer looking to expand your horizons, Lemon8 is a great app to try. 

What does the app look like?  

Like most other social media apps, on Lemon8 there’s a Feed where you can scroll through content. But one of the notable differences is that this app does not come with vertical scrolling. Instead, the posts are displayed in a grid – two posts in each row. This is another area where the app looks like Pinterest. The difference is that the name of the creator appears along with the title while you only see the title displayed on Pinterest. 

The Home page displays two tabes namely “Following” and “For You”. The “Following” tab is where you can access content from users you follow on Lemon8. And the “For You” tab is similar to the Explore page on Instagram and the Browse tab on the Home page on Pinterest. Posts displayed in the “For You” tab are based on the interests you choose when you create your account. 

Getting started on Lemon8

The profile section on the app looks a lot like the Instagram Profile page with a short bio. If you find the 150-character limit on Instagram to be very restricting, you should know that there’s an 80-character limit on Lemon8. Be very strategic about the information you add. Because this section introduces your page to your followers. You can also add your TikTok profile link to use this platform to grow your TikTok following. 

Once you have created your page on the app, sharing your profile is easy. As with most other platforms, you get a profile link that you can copy and share on your existing social media accounts. This way you can bring your followers from Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms to your Lemon8 page as well. 

How is Lemon8 different from other social media apps? 

Now, let’s get to the burning question – how is Lemon8 different from other social media apps? Because let’s face it, unless there’s something new about the app, unless it adds more value in terms of user experience, you do not want to add to your social media content burden. You do not want to overwhelm yourself with yet another social media app and its ever-changing algorithm. 

Putting photos forward

This is one of the biggest differences between this app and other social media platforms. Instagram was once an aesthetic realm filled with beautiful lifestyle photos. Twitter was about text posts and meaningful discussions. TikTok was about endless video scrolling. There was this clear boundary between apps and the content types they prioritized. But within the past few years, most platforms started prioritizing video content and all hell broke loose. 

Online petitions were created by people wanting to “Make Instagram Instagram Again”. If you are one of those users who felt that image posts deserve better attention than they have now, and if you were a fan of the image-rich Instagram feeds of the past, then Lemon8 manages to achieve something similar. This is one of the strongest traits of this platform that people have been raving about. Yes, the platform does support video posts but for now, images are more popular. They are displayed in beautiful carousels for an engaging experience. 

Intuitive photo editing 

All those fancy photos you see in your Feed do not require fancy photo editing apps. The photo editor on Lemon8 is one of the most talked about features of the app. 

When you upload photos to the app, there are options to add standard templates, retouch the photo, and add hashtags, text, and stickers. While all these might sound similar to what you have on Instagram, the difference here is that Lemon8 offers a large library of aesthetic templates. This is where you will find a variety of text placements based on different categories. This saves a lot of time that you otherwise have to spend finding the right fonts and text placement for your photos. You can further edit the text that appears and the font styles as well. 

Adding labels is yet another handy feature. This lets you draw attention to specific details in your picture. This is particularly useful for influencers who wish to clearly label the items featured in the image. Or for when you create visual guides. 

Of course, before all this is the step where you create custom visuals to go on social media platforms like these. And that’s where the help of a professional designer is still indispensable. Especially when you have to create content for a brand page. Because then you will need a hint of your brand in your pictures. 

A more structured Home page 

Within the “For You” tab, posts are categorized into topics like Beauty, Fashion, Food, Travel, Home, and Wellness. This looks more organized and makes it easier to find content in various areas of interest, unlike the overwhelming feed on Instagram. 

Users who find endless scrolling to find relevant and interesting content on TikTok and Instagram might find this structured layout on Lemon8 to be a fresh change. This is yet another way in which the app lives up to the description of being an idea-sharing platform. 

Comparison with the Xiaohongshu app

Many content creators also compare Lemon8 with the Xiaohongshu app which is a huge trend in China. The app particularly gained popularity for being a seamless platform for influencers to share lifestyle content and add shopping recommendations effortlessly. And how the app conveniently brings shopping to social media. Lemon8 does something similar. 

On Lemon8, when you add your photos, you can add tags. And in these tags, you can add the details of the products as well as the respective prices. This is a handy feature for influencers. And this is one of the many ways in which Lemon8 looks similar to the Xiaohongshu app. In other words, Lemon8 looks like a great opportunity for influencer collaborations. 

Related posts 

Another major benefit that you might notice on Lemon8 is the blog-like feel of the posts. In this aspect, it might remind you of Tumblr. So, if you are looking for shopping guides, DIY guides on specific lifestyle topics, the interface feels pretty convenient. 

You even get to view Related Posts as you view one, like the “Posts You May Like” suggestions you get from the Explore page on Instagram. 

Localized approach

As you set up your profile and pick your niches of interest, the Lemon8 app asks you for your location. This is because the platform is pushing to create and connect local communities. 

In most of the promotions of the app, you’ll notice how ByteDance calls the app the perfect place to find “authentic reviews” and recommendations for local businesses. This is a clear indication that the app can make a big difference to local businesses. If you are a small business owner looking to use social media to reach a wider group of audience, this is definitely a benefit to tap into. 

Should brands hop on the Lemon8 trend? 

Gone are the days when social media platforms were just for personal accounts and connecting with friends and family. Nowadays social media has become a crucial channel for brands looking to enhance their networking. They provide brands with a way to connect with their audience. From that perspective, how does Lemon8 add value to brands? 

  • Since the platform is about lifestyle content, you can use it to create more authentic content that connects well with your customers. It helps you niche down your content and create an experience similar to creating blogs for better reach. 
  • It gives you a great space to advance your influencer marketing strategy. 
  • If you are looking to build your social media presence, Lemon8 is a great space. Since the platform is still in its early stages, there’s no pressure of frequent algorithm changes or burning trends to keep up with. 

So, yes, if Lemon8 continues to grow at its current pace, it is surely a worthy addition to any brand’s social media strategy. Therefore, it is a trend worth hopping on to if the app is already available in your country and one worth following if it’s not available yet. 

How is ByteDance promoting the app? 

While we discuss the benefits that the Lemon8 app can bring to businesses looking to leverage it for their promotions, the promotional strategy adopted by ByteDance to push the Lemon8 app itself brings excellent marketing lessons. 

Because introducing a new social media app in a competitive space is not an easy job. And having to compete with the likes of Facebook that have consistently managed to retain its position of “the most-used app” globally is quite tough. 

In spite of all this, the app rose to the top charts in the U.S. (iOS) App Store days after launch. And globally the app has more than 17 million downloads. Considering that it’s hardly 3 years since the original launch and that the app is only available in limited markets these numbers are pretty impressive. The numbers also indicate that a TikTok ban in the U.S. might not affect ByteDance drastically. 

How did the company manage to pull this off? And that too when it is in trouble in several countries! Let’s look at some of the strategies that ByteDance has been incorporating to push the Lemon8 app forward. 

Paying creators to create more content 

To create anticipation and to lay a strong foundation, ByteDance started out by paying creators to use the app and post content on it. This is a classic example of influencer marketing. The company used its existing TikTok influencers to cross-promote its new product and the idea worked. 

Leveraging existing social media platforms 

The official pages of Lemon8 on Instagram for each country post regional content. The brand also curates specific campaigns for each region. This has helped the app build its popularity through existing social media platforms. 

On Instagram, for example, you will find informative content on how to use the app, how to explore specific features, and other details. And there are trending posts reshared from the Lemon8 app tagging the respective creators similar to what TikTok does on its Instagram page. On LinkedIn, the company shares news about important milestones and events. 

Event marketing 

ByteDance has been hosting events in various countries and on various occasions. These are creator meetups where existing creators meet and connect. This step in community building is pretty common in the social media realm. Several social media platforms host creator conferences where the team shares the latest updates and strengthens its networking. 

Lemon8 has been consistently adopting this approach from its early stages. And these events have helped the app gain prominence. 

Collaborations with local brands 

We spoke about the push for local brands on Lemon8. As an additional step toward this, the company collaborates with local brands to promote the app. This includes exclusive store discounts on posting reviews on the Lemon8 app, for example. 

This idea helps the brand leverage the existing customer base of local brands to help the app boost its local reach. 

Social media contests 

Leomn8 also hosts online contests encouraging users to share content in particular themes to stand a chance to win prizes. This is the good old idea of using contests to increase reach and to build awareness. Additionally, this has helped increase the content shared on the platform. 

Are you ready to take a sip of Lemon8?

From all these efforts and from the response the app has been receiving it’s clear that there is a good chance of Lemon8 becoming the next big thing on the social media front. Given that there are no complicated content formats and given the ease of repurposing your existing content to create image posts for the platform, it’s definitely worth a shot. 

Things get much easier when you have a designated design team taking care of all your social media designs. You’ll have an endless supply of content and endless tweaks to your content all at a flat monthly rate. 
So register now for a free trial of Kimp.