is lemon8 the new tiktok?


art: ceci foley

Unless you live under a rock, you know about TikTok. The app has more than 1 billion users and is the most downloaded app of all time. The video-sharing platform is famous for its choreographed dances, skincare routines, “get ready with me’’ and life hacks. Instagram has now jumped on the bandwagon, attempting to compete by launching the Reels feature that allows you to share short videos. But now, TikTok faces threats of government bans. 


If you remember, before TikTok we had In 2017, the Chinese company ByteDance acquired and merged it with TikTok. So, everyone’s account was migrated to TikTok. But some lawmakers and government officials expressed concern that the Chinese government might have access to users’ sensitive information, such as their location, and use it in intelligence missions. These bans are not only an issue within the U.S. as other countries are trying to ban TikTok as well. Australia banned the app on government devices. 


If the U.S. government were only trying to ban TikTok from government devices, it likely wouldn’t have caused such a stir. However, U.S. lawmakers are trying to ban the app from personal devices as well. And this could have huge implications considering that 150 million people are active TikTok users in the U.S. The restrictions are already being set in motion. At the University of Texas at Austin, students cannot access the app with the university’s Wi-Fi networks. Also, Montana has officially passed a bill prohibiting anyone from downloading TikTok, with fines up to $10,000 per day. 


If TikTok is indeed banned on a national level, then Lemon8 is ready to take its place. But it will not be of much help banning TikTok when Lemon8 is also owned by ByteDance. For those who have never heard of the app before, the social media platform is a mix of Pinterest, TikTok and Instagram all in one. It was originally launched in the Asian market in 2020, and became available for the U.S. and the U.K. in February 2023. 


Lemon8 is a photo and video-sharing platform with curated and aesthetically pleasing content. By taking a quick look at the app, it is clear that users didn’t just take a photo and post it. They added texts, stickers, templates and filters. Similar to TikTok, it has a “For You Page’’ with recommended content based on the user’s likes and past interactions. On the top of this page, users will find a feature similar to Pinterest — content split into categories, such as beauty, fashion, food, home, fitness, travel and more. 

The app is still in its early stages in the Western market, but some people jumped at the opportunity of exploring the new app. Nadeen Ezzeddine, a freelance artist, is one of them. 


Ezzeddine shares that her favorite part about Lemon8 is how “it lets you create a design on your posts, it’s a mix of Canva and Pinterest and I think it’s so creative that they made it into a social media platform.’’


“I think it’s much easier to use than Pinterest too,” Ezzeddine said. “I also love that it shows you how many people viewed your post.’’

Rayshelle McDonald, a digital marketing content creator, said that the editing process is what she loves most about the app. “I love that they give so many fun and attractive editing tools for us to choose from to attract our potential community,’’ McDonald said. 


However, it takes a while to get followers and increase your audience on the app, according to McDonald. 


Another criticism of the app is that it is “being infiltrated by repurposed content from TikTok,’’ Ezzeddine said. She said she wished the app would push out photo content more since Instagram isn’t doing it. This way Lemon8 would achieve a wider audience and reach more people who are not on the app yet, according to her. Brands could also influence and spur the app’s exposure. 

@curatedsocialco 5 Lemon8 best practices you need to know 🍋 let’s help eachother out and leave any tips you might have learned in the comments👇 #startingabusiness #socialmediamarketing #lemon8 #socialmediamanager #socialmediatips #lemon8strategy #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Curated Social Co

Still, Lemon8 seems to be a great addition to the list of apps. Especially with TikTok bans, it may be exactly what we need. For McDonald, the “app is here to stay especially since it has so many amazing features and is very easy to catch on to.’’ 


Even if downloading TikTok becomes illegal in the U.S., there will be another app ready to take its place. Right now, it’s Lemon8, which is also owned by ByteDance. Thus, if lawmakers are trying to pass bills to prohibit users from downloading TikTok so Chinese companies won’t have access to it, a TikTok ban likely won’t be efficient.

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Hi! I’m Catie Pusateri, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.