Duolingo has launched a paid subscription service designed to give language learners a leg-up. Paid subscribers will gain a couple of advantages over free users, all while keeping Duolingo in business. However, Duolingo is committed to continuing to offer free language learning for everyone.
We should all learn a new language. Unfortunately, doing so isn’t easy. Duolingo at least makes the whole thing fun, but that comes at a cost. So much so that its CEO Luis von Ahn claims the company is spending $42,000 per day. No wonder Duolingo is launching a paid subscription service…
The Advantages of Duolingo Plus
Duolingo’s new subscription service, called Duolingo Plus, offers two distinct advantages over its free offering. First, it removes all ads from the service. And second, it offers offline learning. Duolingo claims these two features users have been requesting for some time.
In other words, Duolingo Plus is designed to complement, rather than kill, the basic Duolingo offering. To this end the company is taking a soft-sell approach. Duolingo is saying if you have the money and inclination to subscribe, please do so, but if not, please carry on learning for free.
The ability to download lessons to learn offline is a particularly good idea. As von Ahn suggests in the blog post announcing Duolingo Plus, users will now be able to continue learning while flying to a new country, or while commuting to work on public transport.
Duolingo Plus is initially only available on Android, but will be coming to iOS soon. Duolingo Plus, which is priced at $9.99-per-month, is the culmination of Duolingo’s attempts to become self-sufficient, with ads and in-app purchases also helping it bring in the money it clearly needs to remain viable.
You Can Still Learn for Free
Despite these recent attempts at monetization, Duolingo maintains it is committed to helping everyone learn languages for free. The idea is to keep the base offering free while raking in much-needed cash from those willing to pay for extra features. Which sounds eminently sensible.
Have you used Duolingo to learn a language? How far through the course did you get? Is it a good way of learning a language? What do you think of Duolingo’s attempts at monetization? Are you interested in Duolingo Plus? Please let us know in the comments below!