Lemon8 is the latest app on everyone’s lips. But did this new social media platform really come out of nowhere? After launching in Japan in 2020, Lemon8 quickly gained popularity and had amassed an impressive 5 million users by 2022. Bread Agency’s Amaury Treguer explores.
But until recently, Lemon8 was mostly unknown outside of Asia. The Australian ban of TikTok on government devices and rumours of an impending nationwide ban in the US have propelled the global launch of this potential successor into the limelight. It’s been so successful, in fact, that it’s already achieved a top-10 spot in the US App Store charts.
If this is the first time you’ve heard of Lemon8, don’t worry—you’re not the only one. And it’s certainly not too late to be an early adopter, particularly in a marketing context. But does the future of Lemon8 really shine as bright as the hype would have us believe?
What is Lemon8?
Self-described as a “lifestyle community” app, Lemon8 is somewhat of a mashup between Instagram and Pinterest, restyled for Gen-Z. You can think of it as a reimagined Tumblr for the TikTok generation.
By combining the best features of several platforms, the app achieves the aesthetic appeal of Pinterest and Instagram with the addictive qualities of TikTok.
But what sets Lemon8 apart from the countless other social media apps?
For one, it leverages ByteDance’s experience in the latest AI technology to provide personalised recommendations to users using the same algorithm that powers TikTok.
Secondly, Lemon8’s siloing of interests into product-focused lifestyle categories such as fashion, beauty, and home décor trends sets up the platform for potential social commerce opportunities in the near future.
Currently, there are no built-in shopping features or monetisation options for creators, but it’s not hard to imagine how the app could be a lucrative marketing tool for influencers and brands alike.
Lemon8’s impact on social media marketing
So far, so good. Especially if you’re a social media influencer or Gen-Zer looking for makeup tips and college dorm room ideas (and don’t forget Gen Alpha is coming up fast behind.) But from a business point of view, does it make sense to start growing a presence on the app?
Of course, anyone in the digital marketing world is going to pay attention to a new social media app with a user base that’s growing as fast as Lemon8, but we all know better than to jump in too quickly. After all, who can forget the epic rise and fall of Clubhouse?
Teen and young adult audiences are fickle, and today’s hot new trend could just as easily become yesterday’s news.
Many businesses and marketers will be approaching the new app with caution as it’s owned by the same company as TikTok, and if TikTok is facing a ban due to privacy concerns, there’s certainly no guarantee that another app from the same company will be a safer bet.
For now, most are approaching Lemon8 with a sense of restrained optimism. Its rapid growth, effective recommendation engine, and overall buzz are all great signs for future success.
So, where should you go from here?
Depending on your level of risk tolerance, Lemon8 could be a great platform to explore, particularly if you’re looking to reach young audiences. That said, for Australian companies, it’s going to have to be a watch and wait approach as the app is not yet available locally.
To get ahead, any marketer reluctant to be left behind should sign up and start browsing content on the platform. This is the best way to get a feel for Lemon8’s current user base, the type of content being shared, and the level of engagement that popular accounts are getting.
Of course, it’s easy to be impressed by a shiny new platform, but only time will tell if Lemon8 ends up being the next big thing or just another blip in social media history.