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Switching the ad network?

I've recently encountered my first ad on Duolingo - or at least encountered the fact that I was about to encounter my first ad on Duolingo. I'm using an Adblocker and the NoScript extension, so I only saw a rectangle containing the text "This ad helps us keep education free", nothing more.

I understand Duolingo needs to earn money to provide there services and I'd like to help to keep education free, and if it is only by watching ads.

Nevertheless, I got my Adblocker and NoScript enabled for some reason: I don't really trust the Google ad network.

First of all, I don't like their content - in many cases, their ads appear quite dubious to me. Secondly, I want to protect me from code injection attacks via ads, which has appeared several times in the past and I expect to appear several times more in the future. Furthermore, even if enabled, I would never click on such an ad, so I'm not even sure if Duolingo would gain any revenue from me.

However, there are a few sites on which I decide to display (and occasionally click on) ads: Read the Docs, for example, decides to display so called "ethical ads", a campaign where they avoid using large ad networks and displaying unrelated or malicious ads. This is more similar to the ads in newspapers or magazines than to the common internet ads. Stack Overflow, another site where I turn my Adblocker off, uses an ad network, but also only displays related, reputable ads.

I like this concept, and I'd like to see it on Duolingo. The ads could be chosen to be related to language learning, local culture (so they could even be in the language I'm currently learning, as already proposed in other threads), and I would turn my Adblocker off as I wouldn't fear malicious ads anymore and would more likely click on ads.

Is it possible for Duolingo to implement something like this (by, for example, switching their ad network) on their site?

I'm not sure if there are enough people having this opinion, and I therefore don't know if this will ever be considered by Duolingo, but I just wanted to tell how I feel about monetization and why I currently leave my Adblocker enabled even though I would (in general) not be against seeing ads to support Duolingo.

June 21, 2017



Hi, TuringTux. I'm just a fellow duolingo user here who has adblocking on one PC (it is shared with many users). I have been seeing google network ads on my phone for over a month and also on two PCs I only share with my husband.

As of this morning June 21st, I believe that either the packager of ads or the parameters to match an advert to a user has changed compared to one week ago. I don't know if JD Power Associates was used previously, but the quality of the ads in terms of relevance to me and also reputability seems significantly higher than I've seen on both my phone and on the website.

Also, for the first time in my 7 months of using duolingo, today a pop-up offered to display the cookie policy while I was completing a Spanish-to-Catalan unit. I dismissed it before reading the document (which I am very curious about and hope to access when I'm not in learning mode). In today's session, I actually clicked through on a Spanish language advert and converted/registered. When centrodeopinion asked who recommended their service, I wrote in duolingo as the referral source.

I sincerely hope that tasteful and relevant ads generate revenue to support duolingo's mission ... because we all benefit when access to language education is free.

P.S. FWIW, your avatar's adorable! Is it Chilly Willy?


Hi Mobetty,

So the ad parameter settings have changed? That's good to know, thanks for your reply. Also thank you for the compliment to my avatar :) It's not supposed to be Chilly Willy, it's just a penguin I've found on the web searching for Tux.

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