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Instagram vs. Lemon8: The Battle is on, but who will be the hero for consumers?

Lemon8 is a new Instagram rival
Image credit: Lemon8

Instagram has been the go-to social media platform for sharing photos and videos, but a new challenger has entered the scene: Lemon8. The new Instagram rival describes itself as a privacy-friendly “lifestyle community".

Launched already in 2020, it was in March 2023 that Lemon8's popularity suddenly surged, making it one of the most downloaded apps in the U.S.. After a marketing campaign on TikTok, Lemon8 jumped into the Top 10 on the App Store in the U.S., across both apps and games – ahead of YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp.

Lemon8 is positioning itself as a privacy-friendly alternative to Instagram, offering end-to-end encryption for all user communications. But some potential users may have exactly that type of concern because of the fact that Lemon8 is owned by ByteDance, the Chinese tech giant. ByteDance has faced scrutiny from various governments regarding its data practices, with some accusing the company of mishandling user data. This raises understandable concerns about privacy and security among users who are cautious about where their data goes.

However, Lemon8 themselves have promised to prioritize user privacy and security. The company has stated that it will not store user data on servers located in China, but in the U.S. and in Singapore, and it has promised to adhere to GDPR, the E.U. data protection laws. In addition, Lemon8 claims to offer end-to-end encryption for all user communications, which would make it difficult for anyone, including ByteDance, to access user data.

Ultimately, whether or not Lemon8 can successfully compete with Instagram and become a top platform for user-generated content (UGC), remains to be seen. As of now, Instagram has around 2.35 billion users, while Lemon8 has a few million – but is growing fast.

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