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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ball State chapter.

How many times have you found yourself struck with a creative itch – from wanting to redecorate a room in your house to finding a new hairstyle or photo editing preset – but you don’t know where to begin? You may start with a simple Google search, or maybe you remember an Instagram influencer’s post that initially caught your attention. Others may go straight to Pinterest to create a mood board and expand or narrow down their inspiration. For some people, these might be easily navigable strategies that quickly help them reach the creative result they’re desiring. However, sometimes the inspiration we find may become too overwhelming, as we’re bombarded with so many great ideas that it becomes too hard to decide on a direction to pursue. Enter Lemon8, the unofficial offspring of Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok. 

App Origin

First launched in Japan in 2020 by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, Lemon8’s vision is to “build the most inspiring and informative platform to discover, share ideas, and bring ideas to life.” It’s targeted towards 22 to 26-year-old women living in big cities who primarily love content about fashion and beauty, but stretches way beyond those elements. 

Navigating the App

The app’s appearance is structured quite similarly to that of Pinterest. Upon opening Lemon8, the user sees two columns on the homepage full of varying content based on their interests, recent searches, etc. (Currently, my homepage is filled with inspiration for new tattoos, hair & nails, wedding planning, photography, and more.) The top of the screen features categorical tags including wellness, education, relationships, and photography. There is also a search bar, and notification and profile tabs at the bottom of the screen. Lemon8 also allows the user to create and publish content, but the creative freedom the app lets users express is what makes the app unique. 

Uploading Content

Most people are familiar with how Pinterest lets users upload a singular piece of content or a “pin.” Users then can create a mood board based on their personal pins or others found on the platform. However, Lemon8 doesn’t limit users to the content they can create and upload; this content is viewed in a carousel format, similar to the way Instagram arranges a user’s photo dump. Most Lemon8 content dumps are structured to provide or ask for instructions/advice (I.E. How to make the perfect summer drink or helping me pick out a prom dress). Even more, most of the thumbnail pictures are unique because it encourages the creator to draw on the photos (see examples below). When giving instruction or taking users through a specific flow, drawing on the photos grabs the user’s attention more and helps keep them more focused on finishing the flow. I love how Lemon8 fosters creativity in every angle possible, which is a big part of what draws me to this app personally. It still offers a wide range of content that’s relative to the user’s search/algorithm, but I still find using this app to be more stress-relieving and enjoyable when it comes to finding or building on inspiration. 

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I could talk about the benefits Lemon8 offers forever, but for now, I’ll shift the conversation toward the sense of community the app has created. Women are encouraged to be vulnerable and ask for and receive genuine advice, as well as let their interests and passions run free. Each bit of content when viewed from the homepage features a thumbnail photo – usually with some text describing what the post entails – complete with a brief headline. When the user clicks on the photo to explore the content carousel, the creator has the option to add as long of a caption as they desire. This is where some creators might take the opportunity to add some helpful tips to go along with their visual content. At the bottom, there’s a comment section for other users to leave their input or ask questions, and buttons to like, share, or save the post. Users in the comment sections tend to build each other up and compliment the creator/other users, making it a truly inclusive environment.

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of Lemon8, you’re all set to make an account and start letting the creative inspiration flow! Stay tuned for a sequel article that dives into content creation on Lemon8 by yours truly! In this followup, I’ll provide a walk-through of how to upload original content and templated content, and how to make the most of this app’s features. Until then…!

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Katie Bilka

Ball State '25

Hi there! My name is Katie Bilka and I'm a junior at Ball State University. This is my first year on the Her Campus staff! I'm a public relations and graphic design major. When I'm not in classes, you can find me working on graphic design projects at the Digital Corps, spending time with my Alpha Gamma Delta sisters, or meeting with PRSSA. I love listening to music (indie and pop are my jam), eating good food, spending time with my loved ones, scrolling on socials, and watching movies/tv.