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  • Consumer Research

Who Uses Apps to Learn a New Language?

Team InMobi
6 min read
Posted on February 06, 2020

How many languages do you speak? If you’re reading this in the U.S., chances are good that the answer is “just one.” Even though well over 90% of all American high schools offer a foreign language course, less than 1% of those who study a language in school later say they’re fluent in it.

To fill in this gap, many turn to mobile apps. Over the past few years, a number of apps have come out that enable users to learn dozens of new languages.

Who specifically uses these language apps? To find out, we turned to InMobi’s intelligence solutions, which build a holistic understanding of consumers across data sources ranging from InMobi Exchange, which reaches 1.6 billion users globally, to permissively-sourced deterministic first-party carrier data to stated feedback directly from the customers.

In particular, we looked at the following language learning apps:

  • Duolingo
  • Babbel
  • Memrise
  • Rosetta Stone

So what does the data reveal?

Insights on Top Language App Users

Demographics:

  • Most of the people with these mobile apps are male.
  • Close to 42% of those with the Memrise app are between the ages of 18 and 35.
  • Over 43% of people who have the Babbel app are between the ages of 26 and 65.
  • Close to 46% of Duolingo app owners and around 44% of Rosetta Stone app owners are 26 to 45 years old.
  • Babbel is the only app of the four where more than 50% of those with the app are White.
  • Over 28% of Duolingo app owners and over 26% of Rosetta Stone app owners are Hispanic/Latinx.
  • Among those with the Memrise app, over 21% are Black/African-American and around 9% are Asian/Asian-American/Pacific Islander.

Income:

  • Over 57% of Rosetta Stone app owners make under $75,000 a year. This can include people not currently making a salary, like retirees.
  • Around 32% of those with the Babbel app and those with the Duolingo app have annual incomes greater than $100,000.

Interests and Motivators:

  • All four apps are popular with college students and Millennial Users who have shown an interest in Parties, Dating, Social Media, Networking and Entertainment.
  • Within this space, many individuals have more than one language app on their mobile device. This does show an interest in learning languages, but it does mean that one app may not be meeting all of a user’s language acquisition needs.
  • People with these apps are also likely to have travel apps, like United Airlines, Priceline and Airbnb, or to visit travel-related mobile websites like delta.com. It’s possible that individuals download these apps after an international trip has been planned or booked.
  • Based on app download behavior and mobile website traffic, this audience is also interested in personal finance. If our theory on international travel is right, then it’s possible that this audience is interested in saving up for upcoming or future vacations and trips.

Location:

  • The top five ZIP codes where Duolingo app users are found are all suburban areas on the East Coast.
  • Users of Memrise, Rosetta Stone and Babbel are often located in the four largest U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.

How To Use This Data To Inform Your Mobile Strategy

These insights are interesting, but how can all of this information be used intelligently to further your business aims? For starters, it’s important to note the motivation people have for using these apps. Many people are probably downloading and using these apps as soon as a trip is booked or during the planning phase.

It’s also critical to understand app users demographics and where these app users often live. From a monetization perspective, it can be helpful to stress to advertisers that many app users in this space are young Non-White men living in major cities with an interest in their personal finance.

Curious to see more insights? Reach out today to learn more.

Our Commitment to Data Privacy: What You Need to Know About This Data

InMobi takes user privacy extremely seriously. We meet the most rigorous governance, compliance, and security standards. We have collaborated with consumer advocacy groups and incorporate guidelines from multiple federal government agencies to define industry-leading practices for data governance in the U.S.

Users retain complete control over the data they provide, have a choice in whether they participate and have transparency as to how their data is utilized. Subscribers have constant access to their privacy elections through multiple telco touchpoints. The patented anonymization platform ensures data sets are 100% secure, and are refreshed to ensure all data are anonymized.

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