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Lemon8: Another Take on User-Generated Content

Lemon8 App Icon

As we discuss the future of social media platforms, it seems logical to take a look at even the smaller up-and-comers in the social media game. There’s more to social media than Facebook and Instagram, after all, and even those two behemoths started out small.

Today, we’re checking out another platform centred on user-generated content or UGC. This type of content has become a cornerstone of modern digital marketing and engagement strategies thanks to the popularity of content sharing platforms.

The latest platform to use it is Lemon8, which empowers users to actively participate in creating and sharing content, fostering a sense of community and authenticity that seems to hark back to some other platforms’ earlier communities.

What is Lemon8?

Lemon8 on phone

Lemon8 is a social media platform owned by the same company that owns TikTok (ByteDance). However, Lemon8 differs somewhat from its sister app.

First, Lemon8 is a direct competitor of a China app called Xiaohongshu. This popular app’s name translates to “Little Red Book” and has been described as the Chinese version of Instagram.

Since Lemon8 aims to compete with that, it therefore has the same design as Xiaohongshu, with both platforms being all about encouraging the upload of UGC.

Users of Lemon8 upload both video and photo content, although the latter tends to be more common on the platform right now. What’s more, the content tends to be lifestyle content – which makes it similar to Instagram as well as Pinterest.

Some of the most popular topics on the platform are food, fitness, and fashion. Popular post formats also include ones that are recognisable if you’ve spent time on other social platforms, e.g. photo carousels.

The Key Features of Lemon8 and Why It’s Popular

Lemon8 has a lot of similarities to other content-sharing platforms. As far as marketers and business owners are concerned, it’s thus another instrument that can be used to affect brand visibility, authenticity and engagement.

Here are the key features of the platform worth noting right now:


It’s strong emphasis/focus on user-generated content leads to high user engagement. This is something it shares with several other platforms, of course.


It fosters a sense of community among its users thanks to a strong emphasis on genuine interaction. You’re more likely to get people chatting with you personally on Lemon8 than most of the bigger platforms now.


Users appreciate the authenticity and real-life content shared on the platform. While some curation is already happening on the app, it’s still less curated than, say, Instagram. This means users tend to perceive content on it as more authentic.

The potential benefits are fairly obvious. Both brand and content creators can benefit from this platform through increased brand engagement, whereas content creators also get monetisation opportunities from content creation.

All of this contributes to Lemon8’s rising popularity among users and businesses alike. Most users come to it chiefly to build a personal brand or start growing their online presence.

How is Lemon8 different from other platforms?

Lemon8 and Instagram icons

Lemon8 vs Instagram

Since Lemon8 competes with Instagram’s Chinese competitor, it’s only to be expected that it shares a bunch of similarities with Instagram.

For a start, both apps are lifestyle-based, allowing creators to share photos or short videos, curated within different categories. Both also let you share photo and video content with everything from captions to hashtags and location information.

The fact that Lemon8 is also compared to Pinterest tells you there are differences, however. For example, Lemon8 is more focused on trends and particular aesthetics than Instagram. Style mood board content is as popular on Lemon8 as it is on Pinterest too.

What’s more, Lemon8 is currently described as having more authentic, gritty content than Instagram, with creators also being less likely to curate or edit themselves in both posts and interactions.

To be fair, things were much the same for Instagram when it started. That Lemon8 is still like this may be a fixed feature of the platform or may just be the usual early stage of such platforms – there’s no certainty for now.

Lemon8 and TikTok icons

Lemon8 vs TikTok

Again, these are fairly similar, especially in terms of how brands can use them for marketing. Still, here’s a quick way to think of it: right now, Lemon8 leans more toward influencer marketing (specifically, micro-influencer marketing) and TikTok leans toward viral content creation.

Lemon8 influencers are often paid by brands or companies to endorse or showcase products. The goal is to promote a specific aesthetic or lifestyle to their audience.

Meanwhile, TikTok creators are typically compensated for marketing products, and the objective is to align the promoted products with a particular lifestyle. In most cases, TikTok creators make money based on the number of views their videos receive, but monetisation methods do go beyond that.

Figure out if Lemon8 should be part of your marketing toolkit

Now we come to the main questions most business owners or marketers really want answered: Should you be using Lemon8 for your digital marketing? Is it part of the future of social media platforms for your brand?

It depends. Everything from your marketing aims to your target audience and industry can determine whether this is a good idea or not. It takes careful assessment of your circumstances to figure out the right answer.

Luckily for you, we can help. We’ve sorted out many clients’ digital marketing toolkits and plans and can do the same for you, identifying which social media platforms may be best as well as which strategies may actually serve your aims.

Contact us for a chat about your digital marketing needs – we’ll be glad to help!

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