Lemon8, the lifestyle app launched by ByteDance in March 2020, is preparing for monetization, with a focus on creator partnerships to grow its user base. With close ties to ByteDance’s sister app TikTok, Lemon8’s job vacancies show it is borrowing from the TikTok playbook, as it looks to monetize its audience.
Lemon8’s similarities to TikTok include a similar personalized algorithm, which has helped both apps gain popularity, particularly with Gen Z audiences. Lemon8’s cross between Instagram and Pinterest focuses on polished photos and categories. The app has already relied on creators to soft launch and pull audiences to the app via videos promoting Lemon8 on TikTok.
Of Lemon8’s current 24 unfilled roles, 13 focus on creator partnerships across its content verticals, which include fashion, beauty, food, and lifestyle. Most of these roles are spread across different locations globally, with six based in New York, two in Jakarta, three in Ho Chi Minh City, one in Bangkok, and one in London. The roles include an associate director of creator partnerships, a content strategy manager, and a global head of internal audit.
ByteDance is hoping that Lemon8’s use of creators will make it less reliant on marketing spend for user growth, although its years of hefty marketing outlays for TikTok suggest there is no way around spending billions to achieve massive global scale. It is clear, though, that social media platforms need advertising revenue to keep the money rolling in. To that end, Lemon8 has a job vacancy for a monetization product operations role in Bangkok to provide a “best-in-class advertising experience” and “a variety of Lemon8 monetization solutions” for marketers.
Although none of the 24 open roles are based in ByteDance’s Beijing headquarters, the tech company has explicitly advertised the roles for Lemon8 via its own website, making it clear that the two companies are linked. ByteDance currently faces political scrutiny in the US, and it appears to be trying to keep a low profile to avoid negative attention.
Lemon8 has positioned itself as the next happening place for creators and users, like a scrappy competitor to TikTok, with a focus on calculated risks and embracing ambiguity as it comes, according to its job descriptions. It remains to be seen whether Lemon8 can follow in the footsteps of TikTok and achieve massive global scale, but its focus on creators and monetization is a good start.
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