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What Is Lemon8 and Should Your Brand Use It?

Madisyn MacMillan
April 17, 2023
Last Updated On
what is lemon8 blog header

Another day, another new social media app. Lemon8 is the newest platform to walk through the ever-revolving door of social media apps, but is this one here to stay? The data suggests maybe. Since its creation in 2020, there have been over 17 million downloads globally, with nearly a quarter of them already taking place in 2024. It seems the masses have joined the seemingly simple social media app, but why? Let’s find out.

In this blog, we discuss:

  • What is Lemon8?
  • Why Everyone Is Talking About It
  • How It Compares to Other Social Media Platforms
  • How to Use Lemon8
  • Should Brands Use Lemon8?

What Is Lemon8?

Lemon8 is a content-sharing app owned by ByteDance, the same company that owns TikTok. Lemon8 is described as a youthful, lifestyle content community for Gen Z that revolves around specific niches and categories. These categories can be anything from beauty and fashion to travel and fitness. Lemon8’s algorithm serves users content that is tailored to their passions and interests and hopes to inspire users to discover fresh perspectives and share authentic experiences in the journey towards a better life outside of social media. Lemon8 is said to be the perfect mix of Instagram and Pinterest. 

While Lemon8 is equipped for video content and static images — carousels are the more effective and popular types of content to share on the app.

Why Is Everyone Talking About Lemon8?

Lemon8 is by no means reinventing the wheel when it comes to social media, but it has been a hot topic amongst users and brands alike as it skyrockets in popularity every day. While there’s no way to know for sure why this is happening, there could be a couple of reasons. 

  1. New kid on the block: Although Lemon8 launched abroad in 2020, it wasn’t until February of this year that US and UK users could access the app, explaining the surge in downloads in the first part of 2024. 
  2. TikTok ban in the US: As we’ve mentioned previously, Lemon8 and TikTok are owned by the same company. We have a sneaking suspicion that because they are marketed as sister apps, and because of the potential ban of TikTok in the US, many users are testing out Lemon8 to see if it will scratch the itch if TikTok were to become inaccessible.  
  3. The best of both worlds: Lemon8 is seen as a mashup of Instagram and Pinterest, two heavyweights in the social media game. Any user that is a massive fan of either of these platforms is going to be intrigued and be more than likely to download this app to see what Lemon8 is all about.
  4. FOMO: If there’s one thing humans don’t like, it’s feeling FOMO (the fear of missing out). Because of this, many people will be hopping on the Lemon8 train just to see what it’s like and to be able to discuss it with others. Does this mean these people will all become lifetime users? No. But it does mean that more and more people will begin using the app to stay relevant. 

Whatever the reason for its explosion in popularity is, it’s clear that Lemon8 is here and it’s here to stay (for now).

How Does Lemon8 Compare to Other Social Media Platforms?

If there is one thing that is inevitable in the social media landscape, it’s comparison. It’s imperative that for an app to become a mainstay in a user's social media routine, it needs to be at least one of two things: 1. Easy to use and 2. Entertaining. 

Lemon8 seems to be doing both of these things with ease, so let’s see how it stacks up against the platforms we know and love.

Lemon8 vs. Instagram

Instagram is the app that Lemon8 is being compared to the most. With the popularity of static imagery on the app, it’s conceptually very similar to the 'early' Instagram where photos and carousels were aplenty with the odd video thrown in here and there. 

The main difference between the Lemon8 app and Instagram at this point in time is the customizability of content within the app, which has been compared to the online graphic design tool, Canva. Being able to upload, edit, customize, and publish each post directly within the app is a massive time saver and makes posting aesthetically pleasing images more accessible than ever before.

While Lemon8 isn’t going to be replacing Instagram anytime soon, it can be a great space to share more detailed content with different social media demographics.

Lemon 8 vs. Pinterest

With the ability to curate an aesthetically pleasing feed, and share inspirational photos and videos, there almost seems to be no real difference between Pinterest and Lemon8. But that actually isn’t the case. 

Although it’s seen as a social media platform, Pinterest actually defines itself as a visual search engine, and can sometimes lack the social aspect. This is where Lemon8 comes in, focusing more on community building and interacting with followers through captions, comments and likes. That being said, Lemon8 is in no way a replacement for Pinterest. Instead, it’s another opportunity to share ideas and your amazing content with a more youthful audience than what is typically found on Pinterest.

Lemon8 vs. TikTok

Although Lemon8 has never claimed to be anything other than a sister app to TikTok, users are still looking to compare the two. While both apps dabble in photo and video, and have Following and For You tabs, the similarities end there. Lemon8 is primarily focused on photo content, and TikTok is focused on video. 

The goal of Lemon8 is to connect deeply with your community, get inspired and share recommendations, and while TikTok has a similar goal, that’s only a piece of the pie. There is more pressure to create entertaining content and go viral on TikTok, which is not the case for Lemon8. The Bytedance apps are definitely sisters, not twins.

How to Use Lemon8

Now that we understand what Lemon8 is and how it fits into the current social media landscape, it’s time to get to the fun part: How to use it. Just like other social media apps, there are a plethora of ways to use the app, but today we’re going to start with the basics.

Get Familiar With the App

Every new app takes some time to get used to, and Lemon8 is no different. Thanks to its similarity to other social media platforms, and its currently limited categories, it shouldn’t take too long to familiarize yourself. 

You don’t need an account to take a look through the app and explore what it has to offer. You will see a For You tab, that will be targeted towards the type of content you like and interact with on the app, as well as tabs dedicated to fashion, food, lifestyle, and beauty. 

An interesting aspect of the Lemon8 app is that while it does have an unlimited scroll, the likelihood of 'doom scrolling' is far less because you have to click into each individual post to get more information, versus it being right in front of you like on TikTok.

Optimize Your Profile

Once you’ve done a bit of exploring, it’s time to make your account. Like any other social media profile you must have a strong profile image, profile name and bio that reflects who you are and what you do. 

Most importantly, there is a link in bio opportunity for Lemon8, along with the option to add your Instagram profile, your YouTube channel and your Twitter account so users can easily navigate to the other platforms and your website. 

Start Posting

The first post is always the most difficult on a new social media app, but the great thing about Lemon8 being so new is that there isn’t a lot of risk. This means you can either stick to a similar content strategy that you have for Instagram or Pinterest, or you can try something completely new. The choice is yours.

Remember, the purpose of Lemon8 is not to go viral, it’s to share ideas, inspire others and provide recommendations. So, as long as your content is doing one of those things, you’re doing it right.

Should Brands Use Lemon8? (With Examples)

Like many social media platforms, Lemon8 is a great fit for brands. Because it centers around lifestyle inspiration and product recommendations, sharing branded content is a great way to get your brand out there, and to also help users who are interested in your specific niche.

Because of how new the Lemon8 app is in North America, there are very few brands that have actively hopped on the bandwagon so far. But let’s look at a few examples of how the early adopters are using Lemon8 right now:

Charles & Keith

Although US-based Charles & Keith has yet to make their first post on Lemon8, they’ve smartly claimed their username as they figure out how to best approach a social strategy for the platform. Although they haven’t posted yet, they’re already working on one of the most important elements of any marketing strategy: developing Charles & Keith brand ambassadors.

charles & keith sharifahfatini brand ambassador profile screenshot
Image credit: Charles & Keith

Using a brand ambassador is a genius way to begin using a new social media app for multiple reasons. You can really understand what types of content users are responding to, without having to put in too much additional effort. Leaning on platform experts can save you time and energy trying to figure out how to be successful on new social platforms and tap into their existing, loyal follower base. It  can also help build your relationship with your favorite ambassadors in the process.  


BEAUBIT refers to itself as "the global community destination to shop & consume beauty, all in one place”, and their Lemon8 account reflects that. They use the app to promote upcoming sales, share new products, and give step-by-step tutorials — even listicles featuring the best products.

beaubit lemon8 account screenshot
Image credit: Beaubit

This brand leans heavily into the aesthetically pleasing nature of Lemon8 while also providing useful recommendations and inspiration to their followers.  

Nine N

Japanese-inspired home decor brand Nine N, is still extremely new to the Lemon8 game but has already gotten off to a great start by posting about one of their most popular products and creating an 'About Us' video for users who may not know anything about their brand. 

nine.n.official lemon8 post screenshot
Image credit: Nine N

Kicking off your Lemon8 profile with an 'About Us' style post is an amazing way to let users know what your brand is all about and give an idea of what types of content they can expect from you in the future.  

Adding another social media platform to your repertoire can be a time-consuming and resource-depleting venture. The best way to dip a toe into the Lemon8 pool without wasting a lot of extra resources is by repurposing content. Utilize the amazing assets you already have to see if this is something you may be interested in putting a specific content strategy behind in the future.


What is Lemon8 for?

Lemon8 is an app that is focused primarily on lifestyle photo sharing, with the main purpose of inspiring followers, and sharing and receiving recommendations for specific categories such as fashion, beauty and more.  

Does TikTok own Lemon8?

While Lemon8 is not owned by TikTok, it is owned by ByteDance, the same company that owns TikTok. 

When did Lemon8 come out?

Although Lemon8 feels like it’s brand new, it was launched abroad in March 2020. Only in February 2023 did Lemon8 become available to users in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Does Lemon8 pay creators?

Yes. Like most new releases, Lemon8 has been paying creators to create content and promote the app to generate buzz and get people to start adding the app to their already packed social media arsenal. 

Is Lemon8 safe for kids?

While there is an age restriction of 13 and older for the app, there are currently no parental controls in place for Lemon8. This means it is no safer (or dangerous) than any other social media app if not monitored properly. Lemon8 has strict global community guidelines to ensure (but cannot guarantee) safety on the app.

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