What’s coming in 2018?

by Scott Dodson | 15 December 2017

Hi there!

In this post, I’ll be detailing more about what you can expect from the features, plans, and pricing of Lingvist Unlimited – along with the limits of Lingvist Free – when we begin offering subscriptions in January 2018. I’ll also share how if you choose to subscribe, you’ll be able to secure a significant discount. But first, a little bit on how we got here.

If you read Mait’s letter last month, you already know that Lingvist will start paid subscriptions in the new year. On behalf of the whole Lingvist team, thanks for the wave of positive support on the announcement. It’s nerve-wracking to take a product which people like as it is and to start to charge for it. As the person at the forefront of these developments, I’ve definitely lost sleep over how to go about it the right way – and I’m not the only Lingvist team member who can say that.

Thankfully, most people understand that there’s no such thing as “free forever.” We’re a company with a vision to transform the way people learn, but we need to stick around to make sure it happens. We also don’t want to distract you from learning with ads cluttering your screens. That’s why we set out to build a version of Lingvist that (some) people would be happy to pay for.

Our goal is not to try to make everyone pay.

We would rather have you learning for free than not learning at all. The core metric at Lingvist – the thing we actually care about most – is Net Learning: How much did all of our learners combined learn yesterday? How much did they forget overnight? How much did they learn today?

This is possible for us because we measure every single learning event in the app – currently about two million per day – and because we have the most sophisticated model out there for how people learn and forget. We call it Knowledge Mapping. Knowledge Mapping is why our investors have invested in Lingvist. Amazingly, we’re the only educational technology company I’ve seen that treats Net Learning as its core metric – and the only one that can actually measure it.

Net Learning goes up when new people join Lingvist and start learning. Net Learning goes down when people are away from Lingvist and begin to forget what they were learning. Net Learning increases when we improve our algorithms to be more efficient and it increases even more when people spend more time learning – often because they feel they’re learning what’s most important to them, but I’ll come back to this later.

To have more Net Learning, we need to do two things:

  • Keep improving Lingvist
  • Get more and more people learning.

Making people want to quit because they have to pay is a bad idea all around, for everyone.

The good news is that Net Learning is going up like crazy. Thousands of new learners find their way to Lingvist every single day. People have responded to what we’ve built for them. Our overall numbers have grown 300% per year, with no signs of stopping – they like what we’re doing and it works for them. As long as we keep on this path, we’ll continue to fulfill our mission to increase the total amount of language learning in the world.

So who do we expect to pay? We think there are two groups of people.

The first is the learners who are currently getting the most value out of Lingvist. The second group are learners who learn regularly but may not be quite as motivated.

If you’re part of the first group, you probably know it already. You might have even sent us one of the many messages saying, “Take my money already!”, or asking how you could support Lingvist’s continued development.

If you’re really motivated and learning 50-100 new words per day like those in this first group, then you’re truly taking full advantage of a technology that no one else has and that we’ve spent years (and millions) to develop. You’re learning vocabulary with Lingvist faster than with every other app we’ve measured – and we think that’s worth paying for.

So we decided to cap the number of new words per day in the free version. If you took some time off and have a large number of words to review, you can spend all the time you need to get that number to zero. Nothing will get in the way of that because the cap will only be on new words.

Maybe you’re in the second group – you may never hit the new daily limit. You might then be excited about unlimited access to new features – those in the app, and the ones coming soon and throughout 2018. These new features include voice input and speaking dialogues, reading and grammar exercises in a Challenges area, great additional material through well-known content partners, and Specialized Courses that will allow you to customize your courses based on themes.

Not only will subscribers be able to make use of features that enhance learning, but you’ll also soon be able to re-prioritize your course to focus on vocabulary you want to learn – including new words and context sentences – in a feature which will launch first as Specialized Courses and then be expanded and refined throughout 2018.

Depending on which language you’re learning, you may have already found some of these features (voice input and dialogues in the Challenges area, for example). Expect more exercises in the Challenges area, as well as some exciting partnerships to deliver unique content tailored to the vocabulary you know and are learning, and get ready for the first Specialized Courses coming in January 2018.

Here’s a summary of the features (and limits) on Lingvist Unlimited and Lingvist Free:

Lingvist Unlimited and Lingvist Free benefits

And here’s a look at the pricing:

Lingvist Unlimited pricing

While we believe that Lingvist Unlimited is worth a respectable monthly subscription, we’ve decided to discount it deeply for longer periods, because we want to make it affordable to learn for longer periods of time.

Finally, as I mentioned at the beginning, we’ll offer a very deep, limited-time discount to our current learners. Within the next week, we will make a special pre-purchase available. Pre-purchases will only be available through the Lingvist website for now, but your subscription will work on all platforms, including mobile.

You’ll be able to sign up for any of the packages above for slightly less than half price. And, thanks to your requests, we’ll also make 1-year gift certificates available in time for the holidays.

Finally, as I mentioned at the beginning, we’re offering a very deep, time-limited discount to our current learners. Right now you can get the best deal Lingvist will ever offer – more than 50% off all subscriptions and gift cards. To choose your subscription, just click here.

Thanks so much for your support and your learning – and happy holidays!

Scott