Instagram rival app Lemon8 by TikTok parent enters US top charts

29 Mar 2023

Image: © Robert/

Lemon8, a ‘lifestyle community’ app created by China’s ByteDance, is now in the US App Store’s top 10 apps.

A social media app created by TikTok-parent ByteDance has made it into the top charts of Apple’s App Store even as the US government moves forward with its decision to ban TikTok.

Lemon8, which was first launched globally in March 2020 to compete with the likes of Meta-owned Instagram, jumped into the US App Store’s overall top charts at number 10 while yesterday, it was at number 9 in the ‘top apps’ section, excluding games.

A little over a month ago, very few would have even heard of the app. But ByteDance has been trying to promote Lemon8, which is now ranked at number one in the App Store’s lifestyle section and has more than 16m global downloads, according to data from Apptopia seen by TechCrunch.

Pitched as a ‘lifestyle community’ app, Lemon8 describes itself as a content sharing platform aimed at younger audiences. “Here is where you can discover beautiful, authentic, and diverse content. It is THE destination for sharing and exploring,” reads its App Store description.

The app’s recent surge comes at a time when ByteDance is facing tough regulatory turbulence in the West as government after government has been banning its flagship TikTok app in official devices. This includes the UK, the US and Canada as well as the European Commission.

TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew sat before a US congressional committee to answer allegations of foreign access and improper use of US users’ data. Chew’s comments failed to convince US legislators of the company’s innocence.

At the hearing, Chew detailed the $1.5bn dollar Project Texas established by the company to bolster its data security by relocating US users’ data to the US and recruiting tech company Oracle to act as a third-party monitor.

Earlier this month, TikTok revealed a new set of measures that it said would protect European user data as part of Project Clover. This includes storing user data of more than 150m monthly European users within the continent through the creation of a second data centre in Dublin.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic