ByteDance pushes Lemon8 amidst TikTok ban threat

Kerem Gülen
Mar 29, 2023

ByteDance, the parent company of the wildly popular social media platform, TikTok, has been forced to consider other options as the threat of a TikTok ban looms in the United States. One of these options is the promotion of their other social media app, Lemon8, which has seen a sudden surge in popularity, landing in the ninth spot on the Top Apps chart in the US App Store.

According to data provided by app store intelligence company, Lemon8 had never previously ranked in the top 200 overall charts in the US. However, the recent jump to the top 10 is believed to be a result of a strong push for paid user acquisition, although exact installation figures in the US are not yet available, as reported by TechCrunch.

While ByteDance has not yet invested in paid search on either the App Store or Google Play, it is likely that the company is leveraging its own social media channels to drive app installs. A number of creators on TikTok have been posting about Lemon8 recently, with many new videos appearing in the past 24 hours. This has led some to speculate that these creators are being paid by ByteDance to promote the app, especially given the company's track record of using influencers to promote its apps.

A search for the keyword “Lemon8” on TikTok yields over 350 videos published in the last 24 hours, with many of them being positive reviews encouraging users to download the app. Influencers promoting the app have described it as a combination of Pinterest and Instagram.

While Lemon8 may not be a reliable backup plan for a potential TikTok ban, ByteDance has proven itself willing to use influencers to promote its apps. In fact, the company sent influencers to Washington DC ahead of last week’s congressional hearing to lobby on behalf of TikTok.

Can Lemon8 save ByteDance in case of a ban decision?

Despite the surge in popularity, there are concerns over whether Lemon8 can sustain its newfound popularity in the face of regulatory uncertainty. As lawmakers continue to consider a potential TikTok ban or forced sale, ByteDance remains determined to push its other apps, including Lemon8, in an attempt to stay relevant in the US market.

Image credit: ByteDance

The hashtags #Lemon8 and #TikTokBan have gained significant traction on TikTok, with the former currently boasting 2.3 billion views and the latter reaching 1.7 billion views. As ByteDance scrambles to promote Lemon8, it is clear that the future of TikTok remains uncertain, and only time will tell whether Lemon8 can maintain its newfound popularity in the US.

As lawmakers contemplate a possible TikTok ban or sale, ByteDance is actively seeking alternative options. While Lemon8's sudden spike in popularity may be attributed to paid user acquisition or influencer marketing, its ability to maintain popularity amidst regulatory uncertainty remains uncertain.


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  1. Anonymous said on March 29, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    Just keep banning them as they appear. These kinds of apps need to be permanently banned.

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