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Lemon8 for dummies: 101 on TikTok's incredibly popular sister social media app

Lemon8 for dummies: 101 on TikTok's incredibly popular sister social media app

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Over the last few weeks, you've probably started to see the word 'Lemon8' circulating particularly in connection with TikTok.

Lemon8 is a new social media app that is very quickly taking the world by storm. Yes, it's true, the Gen Zers have left us in the dust once again and have moved on to the next best thing in the social space.

If you are confused by the new fad though, we are here to break it down as well and to tell you everything you need to know about it.

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What is Lemon8?

Lemon8 is a new photo and video-sharing app that is owned by ByteDance, TikTok's parent company. Described as a lifestyle community app, Lemon8 is essentially a cross between Instagram, TikTok, Dayre and Pinterest. It describes itself as a content sharing platform with a "youthful community".

"Lemon8 is a place for young creatives to share a diversity of content from fashion, makeup, food and travel to homeware, pets and anything else you can imagine," it said in its app description in the app store. 

The app essentially leverages ByteDance's incredible AI technology to provide users with personalised recommendations in an algorithm that is also used by TikTok.

Upon signing up, users will be asked to select their core interests from a list on the screen. They will then be presented with a feed that is personalised to them. This will include videos and static photos with a large caption space for content creators to really go in-depth into what they are talking about. 

This essentially forms an endless feed that users can scroll though, similar to that of TIkTok. 

Is it really gaining traction?

If you are wondering if Lemon8 is the new Bondee and if it will simply be a passing phase, you should know that it is already the second most popular lifestyle app on Apple's app store. According to app intelligence company Apptopia, the app has been installed 17 million times globally since it launched in March 2020. 

It has also reportedly been installed in the US 650,000 times in the last week and a half with Japan being the app's biggest market, representing 36.5% of its lifetime downloads.

Could the app replace TikTok?

Lemon8 is bursting in popularity at an interesting time. Right now, TikTok is being widely discussed after its CEO, Chew Shou Zi faced a grueling five-hour battle with US lawmakers as he fought to keep the app from being banned in the US over security and child safety concerns.

In the hearing, Chew worked hard to convince US lawmakers that TikTok does not sell data to the Chinese government, uses controls to protect younger users from harmful or inappropriate content, and takes sufficient steps to protect the mental health of the young with controls. 

Considering that the platform has over 150 million users in the US, the legal battle was really a significant one with far-reaching consequences for the app. 

It's safe to say that touting an app similar (or better) than TikTok at a time when its future is volatile is probably a smart move by ByteDance. 

Is Lemon8 going to be a new favourite for marketers?

Saying that, it is still unclear if Lemon8 is going to be as big a hit with advertisers as TikTok is (if you recall, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE recently reported that advertising on TikTok increased by 11% in March this year). 

According to Serm Teck Choon, the co-founder of Antsomi, looking at how ByteDance pushed TikTok to the global phenomenon it is today, the potential is certainly there. "Not to mention, ByteDance has a lot of strengths to help push Lemon8's growth such as its recommendation technology, its leverage on TikTok and its enormous resources and advertising budget," he said.

Serm added that ByteDance’s DNA is actually an App Factory and that historically, it has rolled out many apps and simply bet on which one would take a leading position its vertical such as TouTiao, Douyin and TikTok and that Lemon8 is its lates international push. 

He added that many of ByteDance's apps such as lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu, are still largely skewered towards the Chinese-speaking community despite gaining traction in countries such as Malaysia. However, he believes that, Lemon8 can fill the gap. 

"If Xiaohongshu’s type of content is welcomed globally like in China, Lemon8 would potentially be the next big hit for ByteDance," said Serm. He added that in the short term, marketers should observe the growth rate of Lemon8 and then start experimenting when it reaches a certain threshold in term of audience size.

Agreeing with him, Evangeline Leong, the CEO of Kobe noted that these days, social media users no longer opt for one social media platform over another but that each platform serves a different purpose. She said:

I don’t think a single social media platform will dominate the industry, but rather, the most engaging, relevant platform with most users will prevail.

She continued by saying that Lemon8 already has a leg up from TikTok as it has been able to observe how paid and organic content has helped to drive traffic. "There is potential when it comes to marketers using Lemon8 but not right now as the user base remains low. When users come in, eyeballs and engagements will go up and that is what marketers are after. 

She noted that unless marketers are targeting the younger Gen Z generation directly, they may not find Lemon8 a suitable platform regardless.

Content 360 is back on 10-11 May 2023 in Singapore. A hugely popular event over the years, Content 360 brings the most influential content creators to inspire you. Across two days, you can connect with 300+ brightest minds in the industry and learn how to overcome challenges to make your content stand out among the crowd. Tickets are on sale now, register today:

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