Should Influencers and Brands Consider Lemon8? Here’s What We Think.
Last updated on
September 19, 2023
Should influencers and brands consider Lemon8 as a new platform to promote their content? Or, in other words, is the juice worth the squeeze?
Currently, the app does not seem popular among influencers or brands, but things could change quickly. Let’s break down why you may or may not consider moving your community to Lemon8.
What is Lemon8?
Lemon8 is a new social media app launched in Japan in 2020, owned by the parent company ByteDance, which also launched TikTok. Lemon8, whose tagline is ‘fresh discoveries every day,’ is colloquially described as “Instagram meets Pinterest.”
The photo-based app is described as a “lifestyle community,” and the feed is separated by a “Following” and a “For You” page. It can be sorted into content categories like makeup, food, and fashion. There’s also an Instagram Explore page that shows content organized by hashtags.
In the app store, Lemon8 is currently ranked 25th in the US.
When we launched our poll, ‘Have you made the jump to Lemon8?’ 42% of respondents said yes, while 58% said no.
As for how creators feel, according to Insider, users mentioned how time-consuming it was to create content for Lemon8 and how much more effort is required because of the length and detail necessary in captions and posts.
Will Lemon8 compare to TikTok?
Evaluating TikTok’s growth trajectory, the app launched in 2018 in the US. Around 2020, it started to gain more cultural significance, and in 2021, it became a bigger force in influencer marketing. Now, it's a large and looming part of the industry. That timeline, three years, to go from launch to where they are now is unprecedented.
It would be difficult for ByteDance to repeat and rebuild that velocity. Other apps, like Instagram, took much longer to build up that user base and become a go-to app.
As James Nord, our Founder & CEO, discussed in Episode 55 of Negronis with Nord: “I don't think a new platform will emerge and gain the necessary scale to matter in the influencer marketing industry. I believe we will still be talking about TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube two years from now. I don't see that changing dramatically.”
Is Lemon8 at risk of a ban in the same way as TikTok?
Our Senior Creative Strategist, Sophie Wood, believes in the short term, the answer is yes: “Lemon8 has the same qualities of TikTok that made it subject to a ban conversation — but because the app is very new in the US market and isn’t widely known or used (yet), it’s not of government concern at the moment, but it could be in the future.”
According to the New York Times, “Lawmakers and regulators may have similar concerns about Lemon8 as they do with TikTok, which has become a central battleground between the United States and China over technological and economic might.”
“I think Lemon8 is a good example of how quickly this space moves and how slowly it tends to move in comparison. We've seen this across government regulations, including FTC and FCC regulations. The Restrict Act, which is the legislation that Congress has put forward, may not include CapCut, for example, which is also owned by ByteDance, but it could potentially include Lemon8. If those things move forward, [my best guess is] they will be amended to include them.”
Should brands and creators be on Lemon8?
In our humble opinion, we don’t recommend that brands and creators actively push their followers from TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube into Lemon8. But it doesn't hurt to play around and see what's there. With all new apps that enter the space, it's worth waiting a month or two to see what kind of community is being built there, and if it matches what you're looking to build.
James’ advice?: “Pushing your followers into every new platform that launches doesn't make sense. They'll start to get tired and won't follow. You want to make sure that when you say, ‘Hey, I have been creating content over here; it's really fun. I want you to follow me over there,’ you are truly ready and you think that this thing is going to stick around.”
As for brands and marketers, we should invest in the places where attention currently is. Currently, attention is still on TikTok. As TikTok is unlikely to face a full outright ban and will probably find a compromise, it is still a channel that works well for many companies.