1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Why hearts?! Why?!?!


Why hearts?! Why?!?!

I’ve been a Duolingo user for years, and today Duolingo introduced the concept of Hearts for me (though this has been an issue for my wife for a while).

This is absolutely terrible and encourages users to not challenge themselves and try harder things. It also discourages users to keep trying, even if they don’t get it right the first time for fear of running out of hearts in the middle of a lesson... Lastly, charging a premium mid-lesson for additional hearts is blackmail and just another way for them to force monetization of what used to be a pure and positive tool...

This seems like a money grab to force users to watch more ads or purchase the “Pro” subscription, instead of promoting the original idea and mission of Duolingo, which was to promote learning new languages. For shame...

Please roll back to a “non-heart” format. Thanks...

December 18, 2019



I think it's a bad business model. They should incentivize users to subscribe by offering additional benefits, not by cutting current users of benefits they used to have. Nothing annoys people more than having something taken away from them. Looking at leaderboards, it seems like usage went down drastically.

I deleted the app from all my devices. I will try out the web version for a few days but, if I find it more cumbersome to use (as seems to be the case after a couple of days), I will just delete my account and use another learning app. This is not the only one.

It's a shame that greed got the better of Duolingo.


I completely agree. It is truly a shame that they allowed greed to get the better of them...


It's a shame that greed got the better of Duolingo.

The following article gave me a different perspective on why Duolingo is moving towards a Freemium based app and hence the Hearts/Health system: Game of Tongues: How Duolingo Built A $700 Million Business With Its Addictive Language-Learning App

Within the article above, I found the following excerpt very telling:

Duolingo’s headquarters, in a converted furniture store in East Liberty, a gentrifying neighborhood not far from Google’s Pittsburgh office, is set to expand to a second floor. The company isn’t profitable, but Von Ahn says it will be cash-flow positive this year. He is planning an IPO by 2021.

This is just my own opinion, but it seems to me that Duolingo is simply trying to sustain itself, rather than being driven by pure greed. If the company is not profitable it can not continue. Since the mobile apps are the vast majority of the Duolingo user base and the Plus subscriptions are their greatest source of revenue, it makes sense for Duolingo to try and convert their app users to Duolingo Plus.

I'm not a fan of the Hearts/Health system or trying to defend it. I'm just trying to point out why Duolingo would move to a Freemium model and why the hearts/health system would play a key role in that strategy.


Agreed. Real benefits.


This seems like a money grab to force users to watch more ads or purchase the “Pro” subscription,

Here is a related topic that includes responses from a Duolingo admin, vivisaurus, which addresses some of the issues you raised in this post:
New update brought back hearts!!

Duolingo is moving towards a Freemium model with the apps. They have stated there are no plans to move hearts/health to the web version. The only workaround to the hearts/health system is to use a web browser on your PC or mobile device.


I don't know why everyone keeps posting this like it answers any questions or solves anything.


That’s such a shame...


I completely agree. What a stupid idea. Im going to quit Duolingo if they don't drop this heart thing.


That will keep them up at night.


Just use the desktop version, there is no hearts there.


I kind of like the hearts....they give me a reason to practice more because I so often run out of them so I am frequently practicing to get more. I find this really helps me to keep going.


I recommend you trying out different browsers until you find the most suitable for practicing on Duolingo. Mozilla Firefox works almost perfectly on my Samsung cell phone.

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.