What's up with melting Duolingo app icon?

Emre Çitak
Oct 20, 2023

Imagine picking up your phone to check your Duolingo app, only to find that the familiar green owl mascot appears to be melting like a Salvador Dali painting. It's not a bug, and you're not alone in witnessing that.

Users all around the world have been scratching their heads, wondering why they encounter a Melting Duolingo app icon.

See how Twitter/X user Nikita reacted to the melting Duolingo app icon below.

Why is there a melting Duolingo app icon?

The first question that comes to mind is, why is Duo, the iconic Duolingo owl, melting? The conventional app icon for Duolingo featured a friendly, upright Duo, encouraging users to learn a new language. However, this design evolution is not random but part of a deliberate strategy.

The purpose of the melting Duolingo app icon is to encourage learners to open the app. It’s a brilliant example of how design can be a powerful tool for engagement. But why the melting effect? The answer lies in the psychology of curiosity. The visual distortion of Duo piques users' interest and prompts them to click and explore.

Duolingo spokesperson issued a statement to Distractify with the following explanation about the melting Duolingo app icon:

“The melting Duo you see is a new app icon that learners will see for a limited time. If learners have the latest version of the Duolingo app downloaded, they should see Melting Duo as the app icon. The purpose of the new app icon is to encourage learners to open the app”.

Read alsoIs Duolingo pioneering AI education?

So if you don't see a melting Duolingo app icon, you need to update your Duolingo app. You may download the latest version of Duolingo using the links below.

While the melting Duo may initially baffle users, its users must be aware that this transformation is temporary. According to a Duolingo spokesperson, this unique app icon will only be visible for a limited time.


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  1. The planet destroyer said on October 30, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    I installed but I see the Duolingo is melting and got scared me and I got deleted I was in Italy form

  2. bruh said on October 20, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    This is… newsworthy?

    1. Tony said on October 22, 2023 at 3:16 am

      Seems like a pretty good article to me. If I were using Duolingo and wondered why my icon was messed up, this article would give me the answer.

      As to the icon changing though, if I did use the program and it changed the icon on me, I’d probably uninstall the app. I don’t appreciate an app pestering me to login to it.

      1. bruh said on October 23, 2023 at 5:06 pm

        Eh, it’s low hanging fruit and incredibly easy to produce article – seems lazy to me, that’s all.

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