While lawmakers in the U.S. are doing their best to push TikTok out of the nation, its parent company, ByteDance (which is based in China), has not been swayed and focused on a new app for Gen-Z called Lemon8. The app is currently growing in the Western world and at the time of writing has more than 17 million downloads on Google Play and Apple Store.
Lemon8 is not new, but it is for American and Western users in general. Originally launched in Japan in 2020, and later in several East Asian countries, Lemon8 is ByteDance’s answer to the popular Chinese lifestyle app known as Xiaohongshu (or “Little Red Book”), which is hugely popular among young women in the area concerned.
Already by 2022, Lemon8 has amassed more than 5 million active monthly users across East Asia and was secretly launched in the US in February this year as TikTok faced increasing pressure from US lawmakers over data privacy concerns. Regardless, here is what you need to know about TikTok’s “sister” app.
If you look up the description of the Lemon8 app, 90 percent of the time you will see a sentence that says Lemon8 is “a combination of Pinterest and Instagram”. That is actually true. It combines the best aspects of Instagram image sharing (even in its early days, by the way) with content and stuff like you would find on Pinterest. It is actually a social network for “creating and managing content”. The emphasis is on photos, rather than videos, and the UI is perfect for those who enjoyed the cozy, curated aesthetic of the old Instagram and hated all the UI changes that were added in response to, ironically, TikTok.
The app also allows for long blog-style posts that place a heavy emphasis on lifestyle content such as food, fashion, health, and travel. Although it is still in its infancy and the feature has not fully launched yet, Lemon8 will also be a shopping tool, allowing fashion designers to tag clothes in their photos so users can find designs and buy what they like.
However, in order to classify this app as a social network, we are missing the social aspect here. Lemon8 does not pretend to be anything it is not and is clearly focused on being a social media app aimed squarely at content creators. Its authenticity is built on inauthenticity, and according to the New York Times, the app’s vision is (to paraphrase) to build the most inspiring and informative platform for discovering, sharing, and bringing ideas to life.
Who Owns Lemon8 and Is It Safe?
Despite the fact that the application is published under the company Heliophilia Pte. Ltd., Lemon8 is a product of China’s ByteDance. However, Heliophilia is a private company based in the same Singapore office as TikTok. ByteDance is, again, the parent company of TikTok, and Lemon8 is one of three very popular apps that the Chinese company has released in the United States (the third is the video editing app CapCut).
Is Lemon8 safe? The app works as advertised and, so far, there is no evidence that Lemon8 is a “scam” or spyware. However, the app reportedly shares the same algorithm as TikTok.
Amid growing regulatory debate, such as the ban passed by the Montana Legislature, ByteDance is making a big effort to attract creators to its new app. The company financially compensates creators for publishing content on the platform and has established a team in New York to manage partnerships with creators as part of its strategy to expand outside of Asia.
Since the US Congress is considering a “Restrict act”, i.e. a law that would ban TikTok and give the government carte blanche to ban any foreign application it considers a national security risk, Lemon8’s future may be uncertain. But given its growing popularity, it seems that there will be no shortage of China-related apps looking to profit from the Western market, such as the United States, in the future.
Another aspect of the app’s safety involves heavily restrictive Community Guidelines which prohibit numerous users’ behavior and content posting when using Lemon8. For instance, if you want to advertise selling tobacco or alcohol it will not be allowed to you. Or, if you run a gambling business and want to promote your operator or gambling-related software, no matter how sophisticated and widely used is, such as the best STHLM Gaming online сasinos in 2023 here, Lemon8 is not the place for you.
How to Download the Application?
The application is currently not formally available on the EU market, only in America and Great Britain. One of the ways to get the application is to switch the app store on the mobile phone to the US or UK. Our recommendation is not to do that, but to wait for the application to arrive formally in Europe. Just as TikTok came, so will Lemon8. Although, Android users always have the option of downloading the APK from a site like APKPure. (Note: If you download the APK, you do so at your own risk!).
We advise you to be patient a little longer. We believe that it is a matter of weeks before the application will be available for download in Europe as well.