Some small suggestions for duolingo
The staff will probably never listen to these suggestions, take them into account, or even read this post. I know Duolingo needs to make money somehow, but it would be nice if you could at least just consider some of the suggestions the duo communety puts out for you.
Some sort of talking or communication thing similar to activity. Duo has seriously been dull without some sort of communication feature so that users can talk to each other .
Listen to it's users for once. SO I think this will never happen because its obvious you don't want to do what the users think is best. Unless its something thats extremely expensive. THIS is something I really want to stress though. The users here have some pretty simple but good ideas that could be pretty useful for users who are using the sight to be a member.
Add a few more mods to the site. Today some user was pretending to be a staff or mod or whatever and saying they were requesting bans for users who did nothing against guidelines. Spam gets out of the control A LOT. People say "ya, there are a lot of mods" but there might be, but, I only see lrtward really in the forums (sometimes usage, but not rly). Just add a few more to, like, the duolingo, troubleshooting, etc. forums.
That's it I think. I was going to talk about how A/B tests are annoying but they I guess are important because you see which is more effective or whatever. But still, sometimes they can be bother (like the immersion one).
If a staff member actually took SOME care to read this, I don't know how to say how great that is.
It would be nice to have some form of communication other than discussions however when I think about it even in theory there seems to be a lot of difficulty, for example it would also have to be moderated which as you are saying lack of moderation is a an issue with discussions and a huge amount of effort goes into that so how would they manage to moderate another social aspect. Not to mention the coding and the inevitable bugs followed by constant bug reports, spam reports, people falling out on it and reporting the other person. Would it be a private message service as I have seen suggested because that brings about a ton of privacy and security issues that Duolingo will not be equipped to face since it is not a private messaging service. There are so many social media sites that are fully equipped to deal with these issues so why not use those instead, there is even an unofficial discord that has been up for about 18 months, not to mention an entire active Reddit thread, multiple blogs and Facebook pages.
That links into your point about staff not listening to users and the fact is that the users here are not trained, and the staff at Duolingo are. For example the users requesting a privste messaging service clearing do not understand a lot about running a website, coding or the law surrounding it but on the surface it appears the staff is ignoring them but the reality is probably a lot closer to the staff seeing it and knowing that that could never happen because even the theory has holes in it that no one could fix but users are not trained to see this so will assume the staff are just not doing it to save money.
Also the users almost never listen to the staff. They explained to us why immersion could not be kept yet I still see a lot of discussions asking why they took immersion. There are way too many examples of this to put in this post but just look at the discussions for a few days and you will see what I am talking about.