The Future. ByteDance is gearing up for a full public launch of its lifestyle app, Lemon8, in the US. It’s somehow already popular. While that would typically be cause for celebration, ByteDance is keeping its distance, possibly demonstrating that it doesn’t want Lemon8 to befall the same potential fate as TikTok.
When life gives you lemons…
In case you weren’t one of the creators invited to post a few months early (to fill up the app with content), you’re probably wondering what Lemon8 actually is.
- The app is reportedly like a mix between Pinterest and Instagram, with two columns of content sitting side by side.
- According to FastCompany, “the feed’s focus is images (often product photos) and text (typically tips or recommendations).”
- Posts, which can be “blog-length,” typically center around fashion, fitness, cooking, and travel.
Unsurprisingly, it also uses the same addictive algorithm that powers TikTok.
Lemon8 has actually been around since 2020, only available in Asia, where it already has over 5 million active monthly users. It quietly launched in the US and UK in February, mostly to get creators posting on the platform. But in that time, it’s become the App Store’s top lifestyle app and has racked up 650,000 users in the US just in the past week.
The outsized popularity likely has a lot to do with the fact that the app comes from TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance… although ByteDance is trying to keep that on the DL, with the whole TikTok-may-be-banned drama at play. Lemon8 is technically owned by Singapore-based firm Heliophilia, but regulatory filings show that that company is housed in TikTok’s local headquarters.