ByteDance-owned Lemon8 is going viral as TikTok, a widely popular short-form video app in the US and around the world, continues to face increased political scrutiny.
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Chinese tech giant ByteDance is pushing another social media app in the US.
While this may be part of ByteDance’s business strategy, a new alternative to TikTok isn’t the best solution either, analysts told CNBC.
“It’s certainly interesting timing. It looks like ByteDance is pushing Lemon8 as a potential alternative to TikTok,” said Lindsay Gorman, senior fellow for new technologies at the German Marshall Fund.
ByteDance invited creators to its “new Lemon8 platform” in March before officially rolling it out in the US, citing the success of its “sister company TikTok.” media coverage.
Instagram and Pinterestwas first released in Japan in early 2020. A lifestyle app focused on health, wellness and beauty that quickly climbed the charts in the US.
According to analytics firm data.ai, Lemon8 climbed 693 places, 2nd most downloaded lifestyle app in the US in the last 30 dayspushed Zillow to third place in the real estate market, trailing Pinterest.
Lemon8 accumulated 17 million downloads worldwide Since its launch, according to Apptopia.
This can be seen as a competitive move by companies looking to expand into different consumer markets and segments with more image-based long-form content rather than just short-form video. .
German Marshall Foundation Senior Fellow
“Some of the algorithms used in Lemon8 are similar or even identical to TikTok’s recommendation algorithm. Glenn Gerstell, Senior Advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said:
Lemon8’s growing popularity comes as US lawmakers say TikTok’s Chinese-owned parent company, ByteDance, has Need to sell stake in popular short video app This is very scrutinized.
March, U.S. Congressman Ask TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew in Congress To get answers about TikTok’s ability to operate independently of China’s influence on parents. The parliamentary questions did not seem to allay the concerns of lawmakers.
Analysts like Gorman believe that aggressively promoting Lemon8 will help the company “expand into different consumer markets and segments using more image-based long-form content, not just short-form. It said it could be seen as a “competitive move” because it is trying to video. ”
Lemon8 will initially focus on areas such as fashion, beauty, health and wellness.
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“This is certainly a business strategy. [There’s] There’s nothing wrong with having competing products all over the world,” Gerstell said.
However, Lemon8’s links to ByteDance and TikTok will likely catch US regulators’ attention, especially as the apps continue to grow in popularity.
“Even if Lemon8 were barred from the US market, they would still [millions of] People all over the world who could become users of this app,” Gerstell pointed out, saying that Lemon8 has already found success in Japan.
“From a business strategy standpoint, we don’t see a lot of downsides,” says Gerstell.
ByteDance did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
They may offer fallbacks in case something goes wrong with TikTok, but I don’t think they’re generating ByteDance’s solution in this regard.
Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Gorman and Gerstel said Lemon8 could also serve as an alternative for content creators should TikTok be banned in the US.
“If TikTok is facing a ban, the fact that Lemon8 is getting an intense marketing push may be an effort to get creators onto the platform,” Gorman said, adding, “It’s easier said than done. It is difficult,” he admitted. In the US he has a million TikTok users moving from one of his apps to another is no easy task.
not a solution
Creating another app to replace TikTok is not an easy solution for ByteDance, analysts say. Chinese apps continue to be scrutinized by the USThis is because tensions with China have not eased.
“We may provide a fallback in case something goes wrong with TikTok, but I doubt it will create a ByteDance solution in this regard,” Gerstell said.
As Lemon8 continues to grow in popularity, U.S. regulators need to develop a comprehensive framework to understand the risks of Chinese internet apps and address them before they get out of hand, Gorman said. says.
Eric Noonan, CEO of cybersecurity compliance services provider CyberSheath, said: “This problem just multiplies. It’s a bit like a Russian nesting doll, right? Open TikTok and you’ll see another app. When you open that app, you’ll see another app.”
“So we really need a framework to deal with this, otherwise we’ll be playing whack-a-mole all the way through.”
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