In the science of the mobile app development industry, it is said that if you are not paying for it, you are the product. This statement is often used in the data-driven market. But what are the chances that you will be able to get the services over the internet for free and that too without losing your data or information to the cloud-based Advertisement AI?

To be honest, the chances are quite low. But, today we are going to discuss one of the most popular apps, Duolingo, that has proved this statement wrong. In this article, we are going to discuss what is Duolingo and what is the concept behind its business. Not only this but in this piece you will also find us answering how does Duolingo make money.

It sounds like one interesting journey ahead!

For all those who wish to learn about Duolingo business model, or are curious to find out how Duolingo makes money, stay with us and you will get answers to all your questions. 

So, let us begin! 

What is Duolingo? 

Duolingo in simple words is one of the leading language learning platforms. In this app model, the learning process is converted into games to make the process exciting and interesting. Duolingo app has acquired a total value of $700 million by now. Quite impressive, right?

This platform is accessible not only by the app, but is also available via browsers. In fact, Duolingo has established its hold on not only Android but also iOS, and Windows. This app is equipped to teach 31 languages to the 300 million users that it has acquired since 2011, the year it was founded.

What led to the popularity of this app? 

The simple reason why this app has won over millions of hearts is its hassle-free operation. This app made to the list of Forbes’s “Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2019”. 

Fun Fact – Did you know that Duolingo is the first educational app that was given the title “iPhone App of the year” in 2013. Not only this, but it was also awarded as the “Most Downloaded App” on the play store for two consecutive years 2013 and 2014. 

All these achievements and rewards made the Duolingo app one of the user’s favorites and have proved to be one of the excellent business ideas. This led to the popularity of the concept of educational apps among entrepreneurs. This is the reason why we are here talking about how does Duolingo app makes money and works. So, if you are among the people who are looking to invest in an app like Duolingo, you are in the right place. We here will discuss everything right from the business model to the cost estimation of apps like Duolingo.

Before moving ahead, let’s talk about what actually led to the success of Duolingo? 

The Issues That Led To The Success Of Duolingo App 

By far we have discovered that Duolingo app is one of the most famous educational apps around. There are many reasons for the success of this app. Some of these reasons are the issues that this app resolved.

What issues? Keep reading. 

The Monotonous & Boring Learning Process 

No matter if you plan on reading a book or learn using mobile education platform, the process usually is boring. Thanks to the introduction of Duolingo, the learning process was made fun and interesting. The theme of the app is to make learning fun using gamification.

Lack of Customization

There are many web and mobile learning sources available today in the education line. But what is missing here is the customization feature. In all these apps, all the users were forced to go through the same process, again and again, irrespective of finding what their goals are.

Unlike all those services, the Duolingo app has loads of elements and features for enhanced personalization, making the journey of learning languages for users more enjoyable and fun.

Credible App Content 

Most of the apps that work in the same area of interest are based on software and algorithms. This raised the question among the user to whether go with the app or the actual tutor. Duolingo app solved this issue as well. 

The Duolingo business model included not only the AI-based algorithms to manage the content, but also added a phase of user verification. What exactly does this mean? Actually the app looks into the answer offered by the users and after that it validates the one selected by the majority hence, improving the credibility and quality of content.

For more assurance, the app also has the certification process that leverages the same results that one can expect in offline learning programs. 

Clearly, these points justify how different is the concept behind the Duolingo app. These are the basic reasons why this app is considered so different from other learning software and systems. All these benefits add up together to justify how good the Duolingo Learning app is.

Best Features Every App Like Duolingo Should Have 

Duolingo is by far the best and fun education apps in the market. This app has overpowered all the drawbacks of several existing learning software, apps, algorithms. This was made possible by introducing many interesting features. Below, we are going to share some top features that Duolingo app introduced in the market. 

Below is the list of prime features an app like Duolingo should have 

Settings & Profile 

The first main feature that every app like Duolingo should have is Profile & Settings. In fact, every m-learning app development process includes this feature. This is the feature using which the user can save all his personal details and check out on all the activities he performed on the app. Not only this but the feature also allows the user to make changes in the content shared while enjoying the total experience offered by the platform.


Every learning app is designed to provide a platform for users to learn something. In this case, its languages. In total Duolingo app has in total of 31 language courses listed over the platform. This feature also includes the option for users to learn a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Practice Sessions & Revisions

This is the actual feature of the app that defines its purpose. This app helps the user learn languages through several listening exercises, games, etc. Along with all that, they have also added multiple options starting from translation to the displayed content, making the learning process easier & fun. 

Push Notification 

Push notifications are one of the features that every m learning app should have. Whenever one plans on developing an app like Duolingo, it is a must for them to go with the push notification feature. This feature reminds all users to complete the course they started assuring to motivate the users.

Gamification Process 

Gamification, we have referred to this word multiple times now. What do we mean by that? If you are planning to develop a Duolingo-clone app, you should know all about this feature. This is the feature that makes an app like Duolingo interesting. The two prime areas where Gamification can be used are – 

Levels – The elements like animation, sound effects, etc. are included in the Gamification feature that we are talking about here. These elements are used to make the screen super-engaging.

Achievements & Badges – This is the feature that spreads joy among the user for completing a course. Once you are done with the course or a task, you are given a badge along with other items. What’s even more interesting is there is a leaderboard screen in which the achievers are listed. 

Integration Of Social Media

At last, comes the feature that an app like Duolingo should have. The social sign-in feature has become really popular among the apps. In fact, it has become one of the necessities whenever there is a login required.

This is the list of top features that every app like Duolingo should have to make the user experience better and worth it. Not only will these features impress the users, but they will also enhance engagement.

The User Experience (UX) Take away from Duolingo, The M-Learning App

Duolingo app has made its mark in the app industry and for several reasons. One of those reasons is the improved User experience (UX). Below is the list of key takeaways that you should consider from Duolingo. 

Engaging Onboarding Experience

If you are looking to develop an app like Duolingo, you should take into consideration the way they have played around with the concept of minimal screens. Many businessmen and even pro mobile app developers are mistaken to consider the on-boarding screens as space the app share for all the features. Multiple screens can create inefficient user experience (UX).

No Forced Registration Process 

Duolingo has a very exciting concept when it comes to registration. Like other mobile learning applications, the Duolingo app does not force its user to register. In fact, they let the user choose the course, select the level and even perform lessons. And after this, it positively encourages the user for registration with a gentle massage “Time to create a profile to save your progress and continue learning for free”. Smart, right?

Push Notifications 

We have discussed this feature before. Push notification is one of the simplest and proven means of increasing the conversion rate. Like other successful apps, the Duolingo app has also introduced push notification to its app model. The basic motto behind push notifications is to remind the users about daily, weekly, and monthly goals that they have set in the beginning.

Progressive Onboarding Experience

Duolingo app has outdone the concept of app development when it comes to user experience. Most of the app developers and business people make the mistake of restricting themselves to the extent where they lose efficiency in UX. They have simplified the workflow without compromising the personalized user experience.

Speed & Convenience 

If you are planning to develop the Duolingo-clone app, you should keep a note on the exceptional speed and convenience that the Duolingo app has worked on. In fact, some of the professionals believe that the speed & convenience that this app has introduced was only nailed by brands like Netflix.

Voice Recognition Feature, Must-Have Feature In-App Like Duolingo

We all know that AI has brought many ingenious things to the mobile app industry. One such element is voice recognition. Duolingo has also picked up on it and has used voice recognition to enhance the user experience. So, if you are planning to go with developing an app like Duolingo, you should also consider using the voice recognition feature.

We understand after reading all this you must be really curious to find the answer to the question – How much does app like Duolingo cost? 

But let’s get into the tech stack first. 

Tech Stack Requirement To Develop An App Like Duolingo 

Below we are sharing the complete tech-stack that is required to develop an m-learning app like Duolingo. The stack includes –

  • Java, Kotlin, Scala, Objective-C, Swift for Native development. 
  • For backend development – Python
  • UI/UX Design –  React.js, Angular.js, CSS, JQuery, Bootstrap, Vue.js
  • Database Management Tools – MySQL, MongoDB, HBase, Cassandra, and  Postgres
  • Time Analytics – Hadoop & Spark Big data frameworks, Apache, and IBM 
  • Cloud Storage Requirements – Amazon Data Services or Google Cloud. 

Now that you know the complete tech-stack for the development of an app like Duolingo, let’s get into how much does Duolingo like app development costs.

How Much Will Development of App Like Duolingo Cost? 

If you are planning to develop a Duolingo-Clone app, here we are going to discuss how much it is going to cost you. 

The cost of development depends on multiple factors. These factors include – 

Selection of App Platform 

The cost for the development of an app like Duolingo will depend on the choice of platform you pick. These platforms include – Android, iOS, or both. Remember every platform will have a different tech-stack and therefore, will have different price ranges.

Front-End Development 

There are some programming languages and front-end development environments that are open-source and some that are not. Besides this, there are some differences on the basis of customization flexibility. All these factors contribute to deciding the cost of development of an app like Duolingo.

Backend Development Requirement

Selecting a backend development platform will also help decide the cost of the project. Different development languages, hosting services, and frameworks will have different price tags. For instance, if you go with microservice architecture rather than picking monolithic it will cost you more. Similarly, if one uses Node.js it will cost you less in comparison to using Java’s.

In this case, hiring a professional team of app developers, or a mobile app development company will help reduce the cost of development of an app like Duolingo. 

Designing Process 

There are multiple factors that vouch into the cost of m-learning app development. So, if you are planning to develop a Duolingo-clone, you should be aware of all these factors. One such factor is the designing toolkit that you would want your team to use. 

There are many mobile app development companies out there that bill you separately for user personas, user journey mapping, and UX research. This is where companies like ours, Apptunix, count in to be cost-effective. As we don’t charge separately for all this. 

Testing Process 

When it comes to the development of an app like Duolingo, it is vital to pay attention to the quality delivered to you. This is where the process of testing comes in handy. Testing is usually included within the package if you hire a company like Apptunix.

To know in detail how much will it cost you to develop a Duolingo-Clone, all you need to do is Contact the Experts

Business & Revenue Model Behind Duolingo App 

Duolingo app works on the Crowdsourced business model. This process is quite simple to understand. So, let’s take a look at how Duolingo works?

How does Duolingo Work? 

The app works on the basic principle of creating the content and making it available to its users along with the translations as a part of learning. When the multiple users give out the same translation for particular content, the website then considers it right and save it as the translated text. This text is then shared with brands like BuzzFeed & CNN in exchange for monetary benefits.

The Complete Revenue Model Behind Duolingo 

Besides the one source of income mentioned above, there are two other means of earning. 


In the business model incorporated by Duolingo, although, it might be available for free to all the users, it is packed with advertisements from several brands that pay them on the bases of CPC (Cost per click) or CPI (Cost per 1000 impressions).

Subscription Feature 

Another method in which the Duolingo business model makes money is through subscriptions. The users who register for the paid subscription with Duolingo can enjoy the ad-free experience on the platform. There are many other perks that come along the subscription plans. Such benefits include users earning gems, in-app currency allowing the user to unlock the content beforehand and get more chances when it comes to competition. In addition to that for certification, the app charges the user with $49.

These are the basic means in which an app like Duolingo can make money. So, if you are looking forward to developing a Duolingo-clone app, you should be aware of all the means by which you can make money using the m-learning app.

For businessmen who are willing to invest in an app like Duolingo, we hope that this article was helpful enough to make the concept behind the app and cost clear. So, here is your answer to how much will it cost to develop an app like Duolingo and how it works. 


For more information on the development cost or features, contact the experts. 


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