Amidst Raging Controversies, TikTok’s Owner Launches a New App!
Hoping Lemon 8 doesn’t give ByteDance Lemons!
With new tech trends coming up in 2023, the fate of TikTok is in jeopardy, as a number of countries worldwide have banned the app, citing national security concerns.
In order to resolve concerns about TikTok and ByteDance's relations with the Chinese government and the handling of user data, TikTok has been in secret talks with the administration's review panel, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States for years.
Last week however, the scenario took a massive turn as Mr. Chew spoke before Congress and was interrogated for around five hours by members who questioned whether TikTok was hurting young people with harmful content, violating people's privacy, or spying on Americans for the Chinese government. Amidst this, the company’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, like any other large business, has a few fallback options at its disposal. The plan includes a brand new app called Lemon8.
What is Lemon8?
While Chew was getting chewed by the US Government, ByteDance circulated a message through some marketing companies which read- “ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, invites you to become a launching creator on their new Lemon8 platform before it officially rolls out in the United States!”
This clearly revealed Lemon8’s ambition to become a high-rated global social media service. The New York Times report added that the introduced platform, used “the same recommendation engine that helps TikTok succeed.” Initially, the emphasis will be on subjects like fashion, wholesome eating, and wellbeing.
Nevertheless, lawmakers and regulators are just as concerned about Lemon8 as they are about TikTok, which has emerged as a major flashpoint in the competition between the US and China for technical and financial dominance.
TikTok has been deemed as a national security risk by US officials due to worries that Beijing could acquire private information about app users, such as their locations, or that China could spread false information using TikTok's content recommendations.
The Head of Technology and Geopolitics at the German Marshall Fund and a former tech adviser for the Biden administration, Lindsay Gorman said- “It’s a social media platform like Instagram, it has to do with gathering information on users and it has the same ownership structure, being a child of ByteDance, so I think the same issues are going to come up.”
How will it impact the users?
Krishna Subramanian who’s a founder of the influencer marketing firm Captiv8 said that “The fact that it’s owned by ByteDance means that creators will give it a chance…there is that chance it could become a really, really big part of culture.”
Right after the day TikTok’s CEO was interrogated for five hours, a 29-year-old lifestyle creator from Houston, Crystal Scruggs, received an email from Obviously which is one of the marketing firms in collaboration with ByteDance.
The invitation urged Ms. Scruggs to submit an application to work as a fashion brand creator on Lemon8. Ms. Scruggs would receive a small, secret stipend if she were picked in exchange for posting on the app. She would have to write 10 entries for publication in April on subjects like fashion advice or evaluations and recommendations for stores.
Each post would have three to ten photographs, a minimum of 150 words for the caption, and firstly, it must first receive Lemon8's approval before going live.
She claimed that the email's tone, which seemed different from the brand marketing emails she regularly receives, left an impression on her. She was unsure at first if it was a legitimate business opportunity because it seemed impersonal. She said- “When companies or people who work with creators send over information, they usually ask you if you’re interested before just sending over a whole brief.”
So, how can one sign up for Lemon8?
One can sign up for Lemon8 by simply downloading the app for Apple or Android devices. The steps are pretty easy; once you install the app, the screen would ask you to enter the following details:
- Profile picture and name
Voila! You’re all set!
Beyond its stipends for posts, Lemon8 provided creators with a number of incentives to become early partners of the site. They might be highlighted on the app's “Explore” page or as one of Lemon8's “Rising Stars,” and they might even have TikTok promote their material.
To wrap it up
So, what are you waiting for? Go, explore the app now!
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