This App Wants To Replace TikTok and Instagram—But Is It Any Good?

a thorough investigation

Remember the glory days of Instagram? Taking a photo of truly anything (but usually that super aesthetic latte you just picked up), slapping a filter on it, and posting it for all of your friends to see. From those days, Instagram evolved into a sea of beautifully curated, matching feeds and, if you ask me, that was the peak. Ask any millennial how they feel about Instagram these days, though, and you’re likely to get a mixed reaction. From what I can tell, most of us love it and hate it at the same time. It’s no secret that Instagram users miss a lot of the original functionality of the app (the aforementioned photo sharing) and feel left behind in a world of fast-paced Reels that the average user simply doesn’t have an interest in creating. Which is why it isn’t all that surprising that a potential replacement for everyone’s favorite photo-sharing app is here—Lemon8.

With TikTok potentially on the outs, and Instagram no longer being what it was, the new kid on the block is looking super appealing. But is downloading and investing time in another social media app worth it? If you can’t figure out whether Lemon8’s quick rise will end before the app really gets going or if you’ll regret not getting involved early (the disappointment of having your preferred username already being taken is so real), I’m here with everything you need to know.

To help you decide if downloading yet another social media app is worth it, I rolled up my sleeves, made an account, and tried Lemon8 for myself so I can give you the full scoop.



What is Lemon8?

Lemon8 is a social media app that allows users to easily create and share visual content with their followers. With just a few taps, users can post panoramic photos or videos and add filters, text, stickers, or music to their posts. It’s very accessible thanks to its user-friendly interface and advanced editing tools. Picture navigating the Instagram app as far as functionality goes, but finding the type of content you’d come across on Pinterest.


How to Use Lemon8

From what I can tell so far, Lemon8 combines the best elements of the older days of Instagram with the inspiration-gathering element of Pinterest. I don’t think this is a platform where users will be sharing updates about new jobs, plumbing nightmares, or lost pets. Lemon8 feels much more curated—and I mean that in a good way.

If you feel like your other social media channels are very much for personal use and feel “silly” posting about things that interest you, then you’ll appreciate how Lemon8 feels like one giant scrapbook for some of the things that make life really fun—like fashion, travel, food, and home decor. I recently stumbled across an account where the creator shared highlights from a day spent on Lake Como, a lineup of her favorite shoes of the season, some restaurant recommendations for Charleston, and the details of everything she wore for her entire wedding weekend. She got into the nitty gritty details that you may feel is overkill to share on Facebook or Instagram if you aren’t a social media influencer by trade.

To get started, all you have to do is upload a photo or video (or multiple). You can make a post with a single image or with multiple images in a “collage” (more like a collection). Then you can add text and graphics over the post, as well as a caption and hashtags. Rumor has it that adding text over a photo or video directly in the app, instead of in another photo editing app, will make your content easier to find.

You can like posts, comment on them, or save them. So even if you have no desire to post on the app, you can engage with the content you find meaningful. You can also follow different accounts like you would on any other platform.


How I’m Using Lemon8

I’m not actually a super active social media poster—I’m much more of a lurker. But that’s mainly because I don’t really get that much enjoyment out of posting about myself. You’re much more likely to find me scrolling through my Saved folder on Instagram rather than actually creating content. This is why I was surprised to find out how much I wanted to post on Lemon8 in the first week of having it. Lemon8 is dare I say it—making social media fun again.

Instead of posting about myself (aside from the obligatory get to know me post that everyone on the app is sharing), I got creative. For me, this meant sharing a bunch of travel photos from a weekend getaway that I wanted to remember in detail and corralling spring style and home decor inspiration into one post that I can look back on before my next shopping trip. Come say hi!

For me, Lemon8 feels like the perfect place to get creative. I see it as a place to highlight things you love, whether that be in the form of sharing photos and videos you took or by saving inspiring images. Think—scrapbook meets vision board.


The Takeaway

Lemon8 doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. It’s very clear once you log on to the app, that it’s designed to be a creator platform. That doesn’t mean you have to be an influencer to use the app or need to have goals on monetization. You should expect to see a lot of good old-fashioned flat lays—which is weirdly refreshing. Why should someone have to conduct a professional photoshoot to show me the sweater they can’t stop wearing this spring?

After years of being told that we have to be completely real on social media, it’s a nice change of pace to be able to romanticize our lives again—like sharing our favorite jewelry, the gorgeous hotel we stayed at, or the home decor we can’t get out of our heads—and connect with others who feel excited by those things too.