Consulting Insights

Introducing Lemon8, The Newest App From TikTok’s Parent Company, ByteDance


In February 2023, ByteDance (parent company to TikTok) launched Lemon8, a new lifestyle social media app that brings a hybrid usability approach similar to Pinterest and Instagram. While Meta Platforms continue to dominate social media market share, new entrants such as TikTok are gaining new ground. Leveraging their brand equity in TikTok, ByteDance seeks to gain traction in an already saturated social media market.

Lemon 8

Social commerce continues to grow in popularity, potentially unlocking opportunities for influencerfocused platforms like Lemon8. ByteDance created a call to action, monetarily incentivizing content creators and influencers through a targeted email campaign to join Lemon8’s launch in the US market. The app looks to turn to commercialization opportunities in September 2023, with the goal of helping creators earn money from brand and agency deals. Brands, especially in beauty and fashion, should be on the lookout for influencer and affiliate opportunities in Q3. Consider a testing approach to the platform if already contracted content could be a seamless integration with the platform, knowing measuring impact will be ambiguous. 


Conversations surrounding TikTok are seemingly ubiquitous with privacy concerns as countries begin to ban the app’s use. In the US, the Biden administration has threatened to ban TikTok unless they divest. Additionally, the timing of Lemon8’s launch occurred at the same time usage bans on TikTok were put in place on US federal employees’ devices. The future is unclear as Lemon8 emerges whether ByteDance’s platforms and their entire portfolio will be impacted by laws seeking to impact only TikTok.  


Privacy Concerns 

It is no coincidence that Lemon8 was introduced at just the right time during heated privacy conversations. As privacy laws evolve and as Congress looks to pass the RESTRICT act, which would authorize the Secretary of Commerce to prohibit products or services from a foreign adversary, it is uncertain if all ByteDance products will be impacted. As privacy laws evolve and the US government is demanding TikTok be sold, it is uncertain whether ByteDance will be impacted. Lemon8 could either be used as a sweetener for a future company sale or used to make a future sale more difficult, as buyers would need to acquire multiple platforms.  


Elon Musk announced ambitions to create an “everything app.” In effect, this superapp could merge or replace several existing platforms. Lemon8 may be the beginning of ByteDance’s own superapp. If TikTok disappears from the US landscape, roughly 1/3 of Americans would be impacted, allowing new entrants to fill that void.  

Monetization Opportunity 

As monetization opportunities actualize on Lemon8 in social commerce, many brands will want to keep Lemon8 on their radar for potential partnerships and influencer campaigns with content creators. The app in its current soft launch form will be especially appealing to brands in beauty and fashion.   


Brands should be on the lookout for influencer and affiliate opportunities in Q3. Let us help you explore your options with Lemon8 and optimize your media mix. Ovative can help your brand understand the gap in your current marketing measurement and work to maximize your enterprise impact. Connect with us to ensure your marketing is reaching its full potential!  

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Sarah Chang is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

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