A new social media platform has surged the app store rankings, but this one’s different; it’s TikTok’s sister app.
Lemon8 isn’t anything new; in fact, it has been around Asian markets since 2020, but its launch has ruptured European and US markets having amassed over 5 million downloads in its first week back in the start of April 2023. So, what exactly is Lemon8, how is it best used, and what could its future hold? Let’s talk about that.
What is Lemon8?
The lifestyle app Lemon8, owned by ByteDance, is a photo-sharing social media platform catering to users’ interest in food, beauty, wellness, and travel. Lemon8 describes itself as a “content sharing platform for a youthful community” where its users can discover “beautiful, authentic, and diverse content.”
The new social media app focuses on lifestyle photo and photo carousel sharing for inspiration and recommendations. Videos may be posted, but they are featured far less prominently.
Launching Lemon8 is a smart move. With more and more people using the TikTok search bar instead of Google, Lemon8’s focus on tutorial-esque posts such as “how to achieve ‘clean girl’ makeup” and “step-by-step tutorials” is sure to make it an app people are ready to welcome – think, if Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest had a baby.
How Do You Use It? Our Top Lemon8 Tips
While Lemon8 is still finding its footing (as are its users), there are a few things to stick by when setting up your own profile:
Pick (and stick to) a Theme
Lemon8 users can view a feed of the accounts they are following, as well as a “for you” page, on which they can also choose a specific lifestyle topic to view. Or, users can search for specific content.
Your content needs to fall under one of the 5 categories to get optimal engagement: fashion, beauty, food, wellness and travel.
Use Grabbing Visuals
You also need to post a cover picture with an attention-grabbing title. Cover photos help tell a story and attract readers from the get-go. From the below image of the feed, you’ll see that it’s the posts that do this well that draw your eyes in first.
Write Detailed, Specific Captions
As far as captions go, like we mentioned previously, Lemon8 users create catchy headlines and often share lengthy text captions in several paragraphs, followed by location tags and up to ten hashtags to help categorise the content. Captions often feel more like blog posts.
A nice touch that Lemon8 have added which we haven’t seen on other platforms is that there are templates to help users write captions too, if you’re struggling with ideas. (We can hear a sigh of relief from Social Media Managers out there.)
If Lemon8’s own dos and don’ts guide is anything to go by, there’s definitely a preference for a more relaxed tone-of-voice on the platform. Your captions should read like a stream of consciousness as though you’re having a conversation with one of your best friends, with little to no corporate overtones.
Lemon8 Pros and Cons
So, should you make Lemon8 part of your social media strategy? We think there are both pros and cons for doing this:
• It’s a fresh start. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a huge following on other channels, being an early adopter to this app could give you a head start over your competitors.
• It feels authentic and community driven. This could be the perfect opportunity for brands who already have a great influencer / UGC strategy in place.
• Content doesn’t need to look “perfect” to be interesting. This means small social media teams will be able to jump on this new app easily, without needing a production team or budget.
• It’s highly intuitive and easy to use. Taking the best aspects from other social media channels means it’s likely that people will warm to the app and continue to use it.
• It feels like a return to the “original” days of social media.
• It’s not similar enough to TikTok to be a replacement if TikTok gets banned since video isn’t its focus.
• If TikTok is banned, Lemon8 may be limited as well, since they have the same parent company.
• Currently, desktop capabilities are extremely constrained. In fact, we were unable to log in on mobile for a brief period. Only a more general feed can be viewed and searched.
• Some influencers have been paid to post on it. If you look for #Lemon8partner you’ll see who has been paid to use the app, which could put off users who are looking for an authentic new app.
• Some people are posting the same content they posted on other social media apps which doesn’t provide users with value.
• It’s too early to say whether interest in the app will increase or decrease.
Can I Make Paid Ads?
Not yet, but our Paid Media team suspect that in the next few months. If the app continues to be a success, they will update the app to enable functionality for paid ad creation.
Our Opinion on Lemon8
The general census around Foundation HQ is that we think this app is here to stay. All of us have flocked to the app to create our profiles, lock in our handles, and play around with posting. As it’s the only platform (besides Twitter) that’s not pushing users to make videos right now, there is a very low barrier to entry, which we think will encourage more people to jump on the bandwagon.
Our favourite aspect of this app so far is that there is no gatekeeping. Outfit of the day posts are clearly tagged with the brands used, travel photos are posted alongside itineraries, and selfies are captioned with the exact cosmetic products used to achieve the look.
It’s clear that Lemon8 is perfect for influencers, content creators and brands in the beauty landscape.
Will Lemon8 Last?
We do believe it has great potential to follow in the same successful trajectory as its sister brand TikTok, however we cannot ignore the fact that there is a lot of risk around any ByteDance company right now. As TikTok ban conversations have intensified, brands are more concerned with how this will unfold rather than adopting a new app that is owned by the same parent company.
That’s why it comes as no surprise that until the official TikTok verdict is announced, brands are watching from the sidelines. Advertisers that are already wary about placing their budgets on TikTok are not going to risk rebuilding an audience on yet another app that could be blocked from the U.S. market.
Despite the uncertainty around ByteDance and the U.S. market, we cannot deny the incredible potential this app has for creators and brands. Think Instagram in 2011, YouTube in 2009 and TikTok in 2020 – being an early adopter to Lemon8 increases your chances of being the first to build up an impressive following.
Stay Ahead of the Curve with Beauty Social Media
At Foundation, we specialise in social media marketing within the beauty industry, so our beauty social media specialists can help you curate the content your audience want to see, to get the results you want.
We can help you with digital strategy, content creation, influencer management and full-service social media management to drive engagement, build communities and spread the word about your brand. Get in touch to find out more.