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Concerned about Duolingo's future.

I'm a little concerned about the future of Duolingo.

Recently, a couple of changes were made that a lot of people dislike. Perhaps the most solid example is the addition of the health and gem features. From what I've gathered, most of those who have this feature really hate it, saying that it's discouraging, and even calling it just a shameless money grab.

A post made by Usagiboy7 said the health feature was a disaster for alpha and beta testers. In the post, Usagiboy7 says:

Forum feedback from alpha/bet course testers: This {the health feature} is critically frustrating our attempts to test these courses. (For some, they have had to stop.)

I'm just worried that more and more people will stop using Duolingo. I don't want Duolingo to shut down, because I think it has a lot of potential. I mean, some users have stated that they are quitting Duolingo because of the recent changes.

If you could, I would like you to continue using Duolingo to support it, and ensure it grows into an effective language learning website. We can make Duolingo better if we work together as a community.

April 28, 2017



Well, you know, people like free stuff, right? And so far Duolingo has been able to offer all this language learning for free because they've been operating on money from its investors, but now those investors want to see a return on their money and for Duolingo to stay in business they have to start making some profit as well. So they've had to come up with ways to cut costs (the activity stream was apparently costing them thousands of dollars a day to maintain) and also to make some money, by way of advertisements, monthly paid subscriptions, buying back lost streaks, and now this new thing on IOS.. You and many other Duolingo users (and myself to a certain extent) may not like all those changes, but if you want Duolingo to stay in business you have to be willing to accept that nothing stays free forever.


As long as Duolingo allows me to learn for free, I don't see myself going anywhere.


Ditto. Hey did you see the support for the Elvish suggestion?


I will continue using it, I'm not doing much here right now because I'm working on my Spanish listening. Later this summer when I get ready to return to French, I will do the tree here. Hopefully by then we will have an activity stream replacement.

I haven't encountered the gems yet, maybe they won't come to the web version and hopefully, if they do they won't interfere with study sessions that last for hours.


I don't plan on quitting, even if the health feature appears on my PC, BUT. - I'll be a lot less likely to try a Beta course. I'm doing the Guarani course right now, which needs a LOT of help, it's extremely inconsistent in what it will accept for answers, and intend to finish it, making reports as needed. But I'd definitely stop right now if I had to deal with 5 hour refills and health bars, even though I have tons of lingots to convert to gems.


What exactly is the health feature? I searched the forums and have a vague idea, but couldn't find where it actually spells out the details of what it is and how it works.


As I understand it (*fortunately, I don't have it yet), it's a feature that not only kicks you out of a lesson after you've made 5 mistakes, you must either pay gems, wait five hours, or do some sort of practice lesson to redo the lesson. Bad enough with something like Hungarian, which is well put together and consistent, but has such a different structure than English that it takes time to get your head around, but it would be a nightmare with beta courses, particularly those that are apparently not being corrected as errors are found.


I think you'll find an adequate explanation here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22329531


Unfortunately, the conversion rate for those with heaps of lingots is very poor. My thousands of lingots would suffice to purchase only 10 or so heath refills. That's probably what I'd need for about an hour of Guarani the way I've been doing it (i.e. making an effort to report omissions).


I am going to continue on Duolingo and support it. I don't plan on quitting it.

  • 1279

lol - where else would I go to get to Level 25? Too much time invested to walk away now -- especially over something somebody else thinks! Because all the hubbub is meaningless to me. ;-)


I'm not going anywhere even if I end up with the health system. If I get that, I may not do as much as I currently do a day. But I don't see myself leaving. I hope we can work together as a community,


If people respond to their incentives (i.e. like avoiding really annoying "innovations"), Duolingo will see those changes in its data and respond to them. Certainly those running the site have its long-range viability close to their hearts (and pocketbooks). Competitors are snapping at their heels. Really, that's good for everybody.

Imagine if you had to earn some digital currency (or spend real currency) just to use facebook or Google search. Yet, those companies are incredibly valuable. I suspect Duolingo will come through the phase alright, but they are seeming a bit frenzied at the moment. I would have suspected their VCs would cut them a little more slack, letting ads fully roll out on the web before pushing such aggressive monetization on the app, ads there being pretty new anyway.


I indeed am against recent changes and how the staff communicates, but I still see Duolingo courses as useful, so I'm not going anywhere unless it's not free anymore, or it becomes unusable somehow.

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