Have you heard of Lemon8?

It’s the newest social platform developed by ByteDance, aka TikTok’s parent company. Its purpose? A lifestyle, recreational and potentially shoppable platform sure to fuel its users with inspiration and creativity. 

Imagine Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok had a baby.

Lemon8’s content structure is what has everyone talking recently, and for good reason. It’s Instagram-like in terms of its content grid and post formatting options. We are seeing lots of users playing with fun filters and text overlays as additions to their captions on static images.

It’s Pinterest-like for its searchability and content is also organized by interest areas, giving that discovery element Pinterest users know and love.

It’s TikTok-like because of the the similarities their algorithms Lemon8 has share. Like TikTok, Lemon8 has a “For You Page” (FYP) that users are brought to immediately after opening the app and this is where the algorithm works its magic. As users interact with their FYP, the Lemon8 algorithm will learn their interests and serve them up more content suited perfectly “for them,” just like TikTok. One thing we love about Lemon8 vs. TikTok here is how Lemon8’s FYP seems to serve more timely content to its users, as opposed to content from 3+ days ago like some may run into on TikTok. 

Editors Picks are also unique to Lemon8 and could hold more influence power than you think.

Under the search tab, you will find “editors picks” content right at the top. This content appears to change monthly and is scouted out by trend-watching Lemon8 editors.

Implication for brands: What if Lemon8 gave brands the opportunity to sponsor editor's picks trends and corresponding content? Could there be a section dedicated to spotlighting brands?

Like any new social platform, it’s still a bit of a mixed bag for how people are using Lemon8.

So far, it appears that Lemon8 users are enjoying utilizing the app as a creative outlet and are taking the opportunity to build niche communities in a new environment. Users are mainly engaging with the platform by posting static, carousel content covering a plethora of topics from food reviews to clean girl beauty routines to daily life “vlogs” in the form of quickly snapped pics – people are genuinely on Lemon8 to have fun.

Implication for brands: Test and learn what you know is best practice from Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest and don’t be afraid to play around with content formats and really get creative – again, we are all here to have fun!

Users are also craving real, raw and relatable influencers on this app.

Many Lemon8 pioneers are craving a new type of influencer for this environment. An influencer who isn’t afraid to share the real-real, the unfiltered editions, the relatable stuff that is actually attainable to the masses. With this craving, we are seeing some micro-influencers thriving here as they work to build more niche, like-minded communities where everyone can share their opinions and reviews on products, brands and life experiences. A place where we aren’t just hearing from the influencers, but rather from anyone and everyone. 

Implication for brands: Users on this platform are craving a more authentic, genuine environment without big-name influencers taking over their feeds with branded content. Don’t be afraid to spread your dollars across multiple micro-influencers to build more genuine and real relationships with your audience on Lemon8.

On the note of influencers… there’s some controversy you should know before fully diving in.

With Lemon8 surging at the same time as TikTok’s clash with Congress, skeptics are wondering if this is a cover from ByteDance with TikTok on its way out of the USA. On top of the skepticism surrounding privacy and safety, The New York Times recently confirmed that some influencers have been paid by ByteDance to join Lemon8 and post as long as they follow post guidelines, such as, making 10 posts in a month with captions of at least 150 words, and a carousel of between 3 - 10 photos. This influencer deal was made to grow the platform and this tactic is something we have seen before from ByteDance with the launch of TikTok, as well as from the creators of Xiaohongshu, a Chinese social app with a similar model to Lemon8 the name meaning “Little Red Book.”

Regardless, we cannot wait to see how this platform evolves with both data privacy and shoppability functions, as we believe it holds great potential for brands and commerce in the future. 


When it comes to new social platforms, sometimes the best learning comes directly from the platform itself. If you use Instagram, Pinterest, or TikTok for personal or professional use, you may want to check out Lemon8. Play around the platform and explore all the rich content creators are posting and keep your eyes peeled for how brands utilize the platform for their social commerce initiatives.

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