When life gives you a potential TikTok ban, make Lemon8.
TikTok might be facing a ban in the US, but that hasn’t phased ByteDance. TikTok’s parent company is pushing its lifestyle/Instagram-inspired app to US social media users: Lemon8.
Lemon8 is a photo carousel and video sharing platform that caters to lifestyle interests, including food, beauty, wellness, fashion, home, and travel. Although not a new app, it is new to US and UK users, who have kept the platform in the number one spot on the App Store’s lifestyle chart since it blew up.
Lemon8 is described by users as a blend between Pinterest and Instagram. Its current viral status on TikTok is thanks to influencer marketing, paid for by TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance—influencers were given specific guidelines to post on TikTok and promote the new app. Convenient timing, right?
Let’s dive into the juicy bits of the platform, and figure out if it’s a fad or here to stay.
What is Lemon8?
Lemon8 is incredibly similar to the Eastern app, Little Red Book. Little Red Book holds a huge portion of China’s social networking and e-commerce market, so it’s likely Lemon8 is hoping to do the same in the West.
Lemon8 allows users to post both static carousels and video content. Contrary to most platforms nowadays, it doesn’t offer vertical scrolling, but shows posts in grid format, with content housed under different trending topics. There are also two feed options: a For You and a Following.
Users can pick their trending topics when they open their accounts, meaning from the get-go, they are shown relevant content to keep them on the platform. If there’s one thing ByteDance does well, it’s addictive algorithms.
Under each trending section are suggestions, GRWMs, OOTDs, recommendations, tips and tricks, and aesthetic content.
Fashion influencers posting their OOTDs or styling ideas can tag where their clothes are from and how much they cost. The platform doesn’t offer social commerce (yet…), but takes users through to a hashtag using the brand name. The platform wants to inspire people to shop items similar to what influencers are posting—similar to what Instagram was about when it first launched.
Lemon8 users (Lemon8ers?) can link their other social profiles—including TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube—within their Lemon8 profile. Lemon8 doesn’t yet have any major influencers, but TikTok stars have begun to post on the platform and build their audiences there.
How to post on Lemon8
Content creation within Lemon8 has been made incredibly easy. Users can create a post on Lemon8 by tapping the “+” button at the centre of the navigation bar. From there, they can then select the photos or video they want to use for the post.
To edit the content, Lemon8 offers a few options, including Retouch to add and adjust filters, stickers, and templates. Templates are pre-set, but can be edited to however the user likes by changing the font, colours, and text location. In this section, users can also add tags to let followers know where products are from.
Once the content is as a user wants it, they then go onto writing the headline and caption. Incredibly helpfully, Lemon8 has a Caption Ideas button, which includes pre-made caption ideas categorised by trending topics.
Users can add hashtags to their Lemon8 posts to increase views. Lemon8 released a tips guide to using hashtags on the platform, and the main thing to note is that you should focus on just one trending topic per post, and keep all hashtags simple and relevant.
Captions in Lemon8 are informative and friendly—so far. They almost feel similar to a short blog post, rather than an accompanying caption.
Users can interact with Lemon8 posts by commenting, liking and saving.
Discovering content on Lemon8
The main purpose behind the platform seems to be content discovery. The opening feed shows algorithmically provided “For You” content, and the search bar features Editor’s picks that showcases top content from a given sub-section (e.g. Fashion Faves), and shows the most popular trending hashtags at that time.
When looking into a particular hashtag, users can either view Popular content, or Recent content. Users can also follow specific hashtags, which will appear in their Following feed on the home page. They can also create a post from the hashtag itself.
Is Lemon8 a fad or here to stay?
Lemon8 is a fun, creative platform that allows creators to share aesthetically pleasing photos and videos, in a way that’s informative to their followers.
Many UK creators who are popular on TikTok have begun repurposing their TikTok content by reposting it to Lemon8, or taking screenshots of tutorials and editing it into a static carousel.
The platform lends itself nicely to influencer marketing. Lemon8’s content creation system is designed to help users create content that is aesthetically pleasing and high quality—something that’s incredibly helpful when it comes to creating sponsored content.
Lemon8 is a platform for people that love creating content. It’s not a platform for those who like memes or posting completely unfiltered content. So far, its top performing content is either from platform partners, or very Pinterest/editorial.
It’s yet to become fully available in the US, but it has definitely begun to make a mark on UK social media users, particularly females. As described by its users, Lemon8 is a mix of Pinterest and Instagram, allowing users to access the best features of each platform, while avoiding the worst.
Lemon8 has the potential to become a peaceful platform, full of mindful content and genuine connections between users—something other platforms once offered, but lost when they became oversaturated.
Only time will tell if Lemon8 will make it to the big leagues… and if it will eventually end up facing a ban similar to TikTok.
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