The company behind TikTok is promoting its new social media platform.
ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, is advertising a new Instagram-style platform to social media influencers, according to The New York Times.
Internal company materials break down ByteDance’s plans for promoting Lemon8 to an American internet audience, according to the Times.
Marketing companies hired by ByteDance have already begun soliciting social media creators to join the app.
ByteDance is lining up the new product as the company faces renewed skepticism from legislators in Congress.
Lemon8 appears to heavily resemble Instagram — with ByteDance planning on highlighting “lifestyle” content about wellness and fashion on the service, according to the Times.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is driving another of its social platforms into the Top Charts of the U.S. App Store. Lemon8, an Instagram rival that describes itself as a “lifestyle community,” has jumped into the Top 10. Well worth keeping your eye on. pic.twitter.com/3R46t7dbKO
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) March 31, 2023
Lemon8 is already available for download, although the service is still slated for a formal product launch.
TikTok, ByteDance’s most popular product, has been used by 150 million Americans, according to viewer data cited by the Times.
Lawmakers have proposed plans to ban TikTok, or force ByteDance to sell it — citing the company’s Chinese origins, according to The Hill.
Critics of TikTok have argued the platform poses a national security and espionage threat.
Nominally private companies are obligated to cooperate with Chinese intelligence services in the Communist nation, according to The Guardian.
We should ban TikTok, because it’s bad for America. It harms our country, and it’s a danger to our future.
— Senator Marco Rubio (@SenMarcoRubio) March 28, 2023
One former technology adviser for the Biden administration pointed to Lemon8 as problematic for many of the same reasons TikTok is.
“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,” Lindsay Gorman of the German Marshall Fund said of Lemon8.
Lemon8 already has five million monthly users.
Instagram is considered among the most harmful social media apps for the mental health of young people, according to the American Psychological Association.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.