TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is reportedly working on a feature that would allow synchronisation between the flagship short video platform and Lemon8, a new lifestyle-sharing app in ByteDance’s social media portfolio.
Tel Aviv-based product intelligence firm Watchful revealed that ByteDance has developed a function that would allow Lemon8 users to add sound and music to their posts via TikTok’s editing function and sync posts between the two platforms.
Watchful did not provide screenshots of the new function but explained that their research uses a combination of computer vision, machine learning algorithms, and flow analysis of publicly available data to identify changes in how an app functions. This enables the team to discover new features before they are launched.
Lemon8’s developers have been using TikTok to drive traffic toward the new app – a blend of Instagram and Pinterest – since its US launch early this year. In March, the team reached out to influencers on TikTok incentivising them to post on Lemon8 through paid content campaigns. Lemon8 also promised detailed guidance plus increased in-app and out-of-app exposure to help them grow their followings.
Commentators speculate that Lemon8 serves as a way for ByteDance to retain its huge American userbase in the event of a potential nationwide ban on TikTok by the US government. Insider magazine referred to a potential TikTok ban as “pointless” after Lemon8 became the most downloaded lifestyle app in the US, pointing out that it is powered by the same algorithms that made TikTok a runaway success.
However, the initial shine has since worn off from Lemon8 as users are now complaining that the content feels overly curated and even completely irrelevant, with many claiming the app heavily promotes religious content. New ByteDance products are even more likely to be scrutinised given that concerns over TikTok’s links to the Chinese state are now widespread, making Lemon8 a risky backup plan.