Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/Eli_Kalil

Will duolingo ever get a "premium" service? I would buy it just to support duolingo!

I love this site, but im worried it will go out of business because they only make money off of the immersion section. Id happily donate money or pay duolingo for a sub service.

2 years ago

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Maurice314
Maurice314
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Actual they are not making money off of the immersion system. They make money off of the testing center and private investments. Second, part of the reason duo was founded was to allow language education for everyone, making premium services are counter productive to that goal. Though you are not alone in wanting to be able to donate to support the site.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
CodyORB
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You are right. The whole reason Duolingo was made was for free language education. Spending money would ruin the purpose, although donated would be a good idea.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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An optional paid level wouldn't remove the ability to have free language education.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
CodyORB
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Ok.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/frankenstein724
frankenstein724
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but what would the optional level include? It is still counter-productive to the point of the site...to the founder's own stated goals, if anyone didn't have access to everything the site has to offer.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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No features that are not available to free users. Just a way to show appreciation.

Perhaps they'd get a little badge next to their names, before the language-level flags.

I agree that free users should have access to everything, so paid-only skills would be out of the question, but a little 'star' by their name, or a pair of 'wings' for the 'angels' that donate or something, might be a possibility if some people would rather not donate without any overt difference at all - if merely giving money to a favourite site is not enough.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/headlesscookie
headlesscookie
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Yeah I was going to say.... coming from an Immersion addict here, have I been providing Duolingo with free labor this whole time?! Thanks for the clarification :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maurice314
Maurice314
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Immersion was originally how this was supposed funded, but Duo found that it wasn't getting the quality nor the percent completion of translations to make it worth while. That is why new languages don't have immersion.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
Mod
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... and why development of Immersion has been stopped around October 2014 (-> Immersion section not added to any courses since then and no improvements made on Immersion system) and why an A/B test is running to test the option of "totally getting rid of Immersion (for all users and all courses)".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/headlesscookie
headlesscookie
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I will admit I understand the whole thing about wanting to get rid of Immersion because of the iffy translations, but with all due respect, translating articles will probably help you just as much, if not more, than the actual lessons, as it gives you a real-world experience of how native speakers actually write when it comes to entire articles/documents.

I hope it stays around on the old languages at least, as getting rid of Immersion really reduces the amount of a language one is introduced to on this site.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/headlesscookie
headlesscookie
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Plus, for people like me who have learned a language in school for the past few years, it's a way to challenge ourselves once the tree is complete.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/italianboy96
italianboy96
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Please for the love of God Duolingo, don't make premium memberships.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Machinealee

I disagree with this. duolingo is fine being free. who pays for languages these days? no one wants to. besides, at the test center at duolingo you pay 20 bucks to do it any ways. there might be people who are poor but at least have cheap phones or computers to learn languages. sure, i understand that you want to support duolingo, but we can always do that by spreading word about duolingo. maybe duolingo can have a center to donate money for duolingo and for the better chances on making more languages. yeah, i agree with you on the worried part. but with duolingo being free to learn languages and in college you have to pay loads of money to learn languages, i would recommend duolingo more. not that i hate colleges.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
CodyORB
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Well, Duolingo is getting more and more popular, and I expect it will last at least a decade or so. Immersion is still a huge source of money, along with the Duolingo test center; ever since Duolingo was released in 2012 they made 90 million dollars so far. You don't need to worry :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson
jimnicholson
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"Immersion is still a huge source of money" Can you back that up? They still have a contract with CNN, but I think Buzzfeed is over.

Where did you get $90M from? They have had $180M in investment - but that is investment not revenue. They didn't "make" it - it was "lent" to them.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Artilex

But Duolingo must use that money to keep servers running, and other stuff.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eli_Kalil

OHHHHHHH SNAP thats alot of money haha. im glad to hear that, thank you

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj
finndj
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Whilst it is true that they have made 90 million dollars, most of this is not from the test centre and immersion. Many millionaires/billionaires have invested money into Duo, including Elon Musk.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Machinealee

so true!!!!!!!!!!!! duolingo will at least last a decade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 #Duolingo

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brittalexiswm

Well, they make money from certifications, I have heard. It is optional though

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EYF2003
EYF2003
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thats how they get money !!!!!!! i have always wondered about that !!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eli_Kalil

yeah haha, i just found out too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bfoshizzle
bfoshizzle
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If Duolingo ever ran low on funding, I would really hope they would adopt a Wikipedia-style funding model. But I don't agree that it should become a "freemium" website, where people who pay get better service.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson
jimnicholson
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What you are suggesting only works at non-profits and similar types of organisations.

Duolingo needs to pay back it's investors at some point. I don't think anyone will donate if the money is eventually going back to billionaires and venture capital firms.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bfoshizzle
bfoshizzle
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Yeah, you're right; I didn't think about that. I just really hope Duolingo is able to offer more features and several dozen or hundreds of courses, without having to resort to "7 foods that destroy your metabolism" advertisements in the bottom corner.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson
jimnicholson
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They have been talking about sponsored lesson content. So 'Starbucks' might appear in a sentence etc. :-/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fazac
Fazac
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How are Duolingo making money now, if they have abandoned the immersion feature? I know they have the English certification, but this has not appeared for any other languages.

I would love a "paid for" advanced course. So the current Duolingo course/tree stays free. But and advanced course is available for those who want to progress further than the current tree, I'd be happy with a one off payment or a small annual fee for an advanced course .

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_lusofono_
_lusofono_
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I would pay for the chance to use Duels again.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/toomath
toomathPlus
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One option is converting to nonprofit, something that could be initiated by one of their larger and more persuasive investors, and then work on building an endowment, doing organized fundraising, etc. Or sell to a wealthy university of some kind that would operate it as a public service. Otherwise I see it becoming a pay service at some point. What they do costs money.

In terms of profitable paths, perhaps they have something up their sleeve we don't know about; I hope so too.

2 years ago