The best update in 1000 days
Duolingo is constantly evolving, which is necessary for survival. With all change there are pros and cons, but I believe the new skills added to the Spanish tree is the best update I have seen on Duo. Over the last 3 years I have taught myself Spanish to a B2 level, which means I can maintain a spoken conversation about most topics, more or less fluently. When people ask me where I started I tell them Duolingo. This is a fantastic method for the introduction of learning a new language because you can learn a ton of grammar, but more importantly you can learn the structure, which sets you up for success when you branch out to other sources. When you finish the tree, and the whole thing is golden (or whatever the equivalent to that is with the crown system), you will not be a master of the target language. If Duolingo is all you do I promise you will never get to fluency. But these new lessons are fantastic for beginners, because they are applicable. When I started my account over 3 years ago I learned sentences like "The bear drinks milk" and "The dog has two hats." Of course you're still going to be prompted to write those silly statements, but while you do that you get the advantage of learning travel specific phrases, or work related conversation.
All I'm trying to say is the Duolingo community likes to band together during an update to complain about all the changes, but that's human nature, as we are creatures of habit. I just think these new skills are a breath of fresh air, and a really clever way to integrate learning the structure of the language while learning phrases that are actually useful in everyday life.