What is Lemon8 and is it important to SMBs?


Stop scrolling! A new social media platform is starting to gain some serious online traction, and it’s set to compete with Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. How? By combining the best elements of all three. Lemon8 is slowly creating a stir in the western world, but as of 2022, it was already boasting over 5 million active users in South East Asia. So could Lemon8 be the next big social media platform, and if so, is it important to SMBs?

What is Lemon8?

Lemon8 is the latest social media platform from ByteDance, the organisation responsible for TikTok. It’s premise is pretty simple for now; it’s grid style (a crossover of Instagram’s explore page and Pinterest’s main page). As a user, you have a for you page (like TikTok) and a following page. You can, of course, also upload content and edit it on the app.

Who is Lemon8 for?

In it’s current early phase, it seems like it’s designed to attract a younger audience, more so Gen Z and Millennial women, as users are invited to select their interests when they sign up which are currently limited to: fashion, skincare, food, travel, wellness, perfume, home, and pets.

When sifting through the current users posts, a lot can be seen with the hashtag ‘Lemon8 Partner’ which suggests a lot of the content creators on the platform have been sourced from other platforms. But that being said, its not to say that alongside the growth of Lemon8, we won’t see more users (and their interests) encouraging a more diversified offering over time.

But despite it’s currently concentrated user pool, it was in the top 10 most-downloaded apps on the US App Store at the beginning of April, and outlets like Vogue and Marketing Brew are tipping it to be at the tip of quite a seismic growth spurt. Both due to its budding popularity, but also because of the concerns around TikTok’s, also owned by ByteDance, future in the US and UK.

Is Lemon8 worthwhile for SMBs?

When TikTok began gaining popularity, there was a lot speculation as to whether brands should adopt a presence on the platform as it was questioned as to whether it was more than a viral dancing and hit making machine. However, TikTok far surpassed other platforms boasting a staggering $10 billion in ad revenue in 2022, following an already substantial $4 billion in ad revenue in 2021. And let’s not forget, they achieved this despite threats of a ban in the US.

So if we use TikTok’s success as a benchmark it’s clear that brands looking for growth could find themselves gaining a new growth channel in Lemon8.

Can Lemon8 deliver organic growth for SMB brands?

The quick answer; absolutely. Look at Instagram for example, small brands and SMBs are thriving using their multitude of tools to grow their brands. How many times a day do you scroll through your Instagram feed and stumble across a great video, only to find it’s on behalf of a brand? In fact, SMBs that embrace Instagram’s ability to grow their businesses are even defining trends. For example, one of the fastest growing, and adapted, trends from SMBs on Instagram is that of the ‘Outfits inspired by [trending show/cult reference]’. This trend, which was started by fashion influencers, has been taken up by bridal shops around the world. For example, this video shows wedding dresses inspired by Harry Potter and has racked up over 300,000 likes on YouTube.

The good news is that ByteDance, Lemon8 and TikTok’s owner, has recognised the success that SMBs are seeing from having a presence on social media. Startups magazine found that “a third (34%) of SMBs on the platform say that they have increased sales of their products or services as a direct result of advertising on TikTok […] while the vast majority (82%) say that being a part of TikTok’s community helps them showcase their brand’s personality.”

Is Lemon8 worthwhile for B2B SMBs?

The classic belief is that social media is not for B2B businesses. Whilst B2B marketers are leaning into channels beyond LinkedIn, Entrepreneur writes that marketers are finding more creative ways to promote their businesses on platforms like TikTok and YouTube.

Whilst in it’s current state Lemon8, with its restrictive interests, is not necessarily designed for B2B brand promotion, it could grow into a space where creative marketers could effectively get their brand in front of their audience with little to no competition.

The verdict? Lemon8 is time not wasted

Whilst it may feel like Lemon8 is just for young, 20-somethings looking for an alternative to Pinterest, it’s got the potential to be so much more. Though it may just feel like the same content wrapped up in a different bow, ultimately it’s a captive audience that is ready to discover SMBs.

So with this in mind, it’s worth hedging your bets and investing time in, or at least keeping an eye on, Lemon8. If it’s going to follow in the footsteps of TikTok, then it’s safe to say it wouldn’t be time wasted.

Happy scrolling!

The Insites Team 👋