Introducing Lemon8

The ByteDance-owned app that is gaining popularity on the app store 

It is no secret that TikTok and their parent company ByteDance have been under fire in many different countries over the last couple of months, including most recently the United Kingdom and United States. 

Last month, the UK government announced that they would be blocking TikTok on government devices. The decision came after the Cabinet Office Ministers ordered a security review of the app, as their concern for how personal data is being used grows. 

According to the Gov.UK website, “Given the potentially sensitive nature of information which is stored on government devices, government policy on the management of third party applications will be strengthened and a precautionary ban on TikTok on government devices is being introduced.”

What is Lemon8? 

ByteDance, with hopes to stay relevant and popular, looks to have created a backup to TikTok if the US is successful in their attempts to ban or force the sale of the app. Lemon8, the new ByteDance app, was introduced to the US app store in February. The app is a self-described “lifestyle community” that is seemingly a mashup of popular apps Pinterest and Instagram.

[Image Creds: TechCrunch / Lemon8]

When the app launched in the United States in February it was not in the top 200 most popular apps on the app store. Lemon8 was “among the App Store’s top 10 most popular apps earlier this week,” according to the Washington Post, and as of Monday the app was #1 in the Lifestyle section of the Apple App Store and #23 in top free apps. 

That being said, some media outlets are skeptical whether Lemon8 will gain as much traction as ByteDance plans for. Many of Lemon8’s current users are paid content creators, in the hope that this will drive more people to the app. But according to the Washington Post, the app “reveals very little engagement” and the content creators on the app seem “less than enthused about the prospect of having to create content for yet another social media platform, especially one that feels forced down users’ throats.” 

Due to the oversaturated market of social media apps, it is unclear whether Lemon8 will gain the popularity ByteDance is looking for. Even incredibly popular apps such as BeReal, which seemed to have our society in a chokehold for so many months, seem to be dwindling in popularity. Creating an app that sticks, like TikTok or Instagram, is an incredibly difficult task to do. Only time will tell with Lemon8, which could create even more of an issue for US lawmakers attempting to ban its sister app.

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