Often described as a cross between Pinterest and Instagram, Lemon8 features two side-by-side vertical feeds where users can post images and videos, and adorn them with in-app templates and stickers. Content is sorted across seven categories: food, wellness, beauty, fashion, travel, home, and productivity. Popular post titles include “The time I realized skinny privilege is real,” “That Christian girl in 40 days,” and “Hot Girl Lunch Ideas.”
But just as users have complained that Xiaohongshu creates unrealistic expectations, especially for women, Lemon8 has drawn criticism for presenting idealized lifestyles. “Every time I refresh the ‘For You’ section, everything is so well-curated and pretty. It’s already exhausting,” a user named Dreamlikediana posted on the app.
Sounds like ByteDance is trying to speed run this social media app into its Instagram-era and forgeo any entertaining of a Tumblr-era crowd. Social networks need a flywheel to create content, and it sounds like Lemon8’s flywheel is Pinterest-esque templates users are passing around. My gut feeling is this won’t last very long. If users want to explore unrealistic expectations in content, they may as well go to where everyone else is suffering this predicament already, on Instagram.