TikTok's Lemon8 Can't Seem to Get Traction in the US

Ariel Ariel
10/27/23

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Ups and Downs. Check out the full article for more insights.


TikTok seems like the giant that can't fail anymore. It seems to constantly be in the news for something not-so-great, yet millions continue to download the app - More than 50M in the last month, according to our estimates.

It probably won't fail, but its sibling, Lemon8, an influencer shopping app that was released quietly outside the US in 2020 and in the US earlier this year, is not looking like an Instagram killer it was meant to be.

Even though it saw the most downloads ever in September!

Lemon8, which is published by Heliophilia Ptw. and not TikTok's parent ByteDance, even though it's owned by it, launched in 2020 in Japan. Its downloads were pretty small initially, under a thousand in March of 2020, but rose sharply in April to 13K, according to our estimates.

Downloads were pretty much the same throughout 2020 but started rising, again, in 2021, peaking at 292K in July. The app's all-time high at that point.

Downloads got into the millions in 2022 with a peak of 1.5M in July. In total, Lemon8 added 10.6M new downloads in 2022. The majority of those downloads came from Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Although 2023 wasn't as explosive as 2022, downloads have been on the rise and in September, our estimates show Lemon8 getting 1.9M new downloads from the App Store and Google Play.

This sounds pretty good right? We're not talking TikTok numbers but the trend is heading in the right direction.

Well...

Earlier this year, Lemon8 launched in the US. After the success it saw int he east you'd expect that downloads would skyrocket. But it didn't.

SInce launching in February, Lemon8 saw just 2M downloads in the US, according to our estimates. And to make things worse, the majority of those downloads came from spikes and not a rising trend.

In September, Lemon8's biggest month of downloads in the US, the app made it into 525K phones, according to our App Intelligence. That's not a figure you'd expect from a TikTok sibling. And that's after being live for quite a while.

Some have called Lemon8 a flop, and it just might be that, but there's one thing they forgot - TikTok.

Lemon8 is barely integrated with TikTok and hasn't been cross promoted as much as it could be. If that happens, we could see a major shift in the trend.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.


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