The language learning app’s persistent green owl will continue to urge learners to take their lesson, but this time, in virtual reality.
After its mascot achieved meme status, Duolingo made its official foray into the metaverse. The popular app encourages game developers to create their own language-learning content in the virtual world powered by the Decentraland blockchain and online gaming platform Roblox.
Duolingo’s Virtual Billboard Brings New Meaning to “Outdoor” Advertising
The brand has noticed Roblox players creating their own Duolingo-themed games and avatars in the emerging virtual space, with its gameplay footage racking up millions of views on YouTube. In partnership with digital marketing company MediaMonks, Duolingo responded by launching a game jam where developers can submit their games to be showcased in its virtual space. So far, the brand has selected around two dozen developer-made games to showcase in Duolingo’s space.
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Currency earned in-game can be used to purchase Duo-branded virtual merchandise including backpacks, hats, jumpsuits, and masks.
Duolingo’s entry into the metaverse follows a string of other up-and-coming edtech companies that have launched VR language immersion programs, such as ImmerseVR, MondlyVR and VirtualSpeech – although Duolingo is the first to establish a presence on Roblox. The emerging virtual world could represent an $800 billion market opportunity over the next two years, according to a Bloomberg report.
“Traditionally, brands that activate in the metaverse create their own environments or worlds that others can engage with,” Duolingo’s creative director of brand and marketing, James Kuczynski, said in a statement. “However, in the case of Duolingo, a brand loved by many, including Roblox, we wanted to create an experience that would empower fans to create something with our brand and the beloved owl character, Duo, that they would enjoy and share with friends.”
In the case of Decentraland, the brand has placed a billboard that features the owl holding a push notification, which will remind users of the mobile app’s daily lesson reminder.
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