Duolingo is an app that strives to help its users learn new languages. The program is meant to be opened every day and Duolingo encourages the technique of practicing in short bursts but staying consistent. The app and its purpose is extremely straight forward but their social media is not.
I have subtly been keeping an eye on the postings of Duolingo on tik tok. Their page is fun, sure, but if I look at it through a PR lens, or even a business lens it’s a bit more difficult to answer the question of why are they doing this.
Take a recent tik tok they posted for example. What is the purpose of this? And what does it mean for their company exactly? Proclaiming Dua lipa as their other half because they share a similar prefix. The only way I can interpret any of it is to reduce it to harmless internet fun. They don’t use their social media in the way other brands do … theirs rarely advertises for themselves, all they really do is participate in trends and interact with their comments section.
I actually find this refreshing.
Duolingo is a business, yet they aren’t acting in a particularly business-y manner. They are able to successfully communicate with people online without people seeing them as an emotionless, robotic, cold corporation. They are able to remain a presence online without compromising their reputation. The people are on their side, they can make bold comments such as the one were they took a dig at chick fil a.
They are proving you can be a business, have company social media that doesn’t just serve the purpose of advertising their product. They are evolving with the internet and whether that be because they are a young company or they have someone young running their social media I think it’s great. They are following the language and actions of their audience, rather than appealing to them solely for monetary gain. People are smart enough to see through brands. I think they have good intentions, and they benefit from having their company gain attraction, publicity but that’s a bonus to their reputation of caring for their audience and being able to actually connect with them in the complicated social media scape we’ve created.
Maybe it’s okay to not maintain a perfectly professional image anymore. Maybe it’s becoming outdated. It, of course is controversial to hold this view point. But I think this direction might a good thing. Business culture is professional and it’s the norm, it’s what we’ve known forever. Why don’t we challenge it? Duolingo certainly is.