Why is Duolingo melting? What has happened to the Duo owl icon and how to change it

Anyone who’s ever used Duolingo – a rare app that actually makes us feel productive when staring at our phones – knows that its resident mascot, Duo the green owl, can be a little… needy.

Duo is constantly guilt-tripping you into doing your daily language homework with his chirpy push notifications, but now he’s found a more inventive way to steal your attention.

Many Duolingo users have opened their phones over the last couple of days to notice the Duo logo is melting. The poor owl looks more than a little distressed, there’s no obvious reason why he appears to be in such peril, and a quick social media search shows plenty of users are concerned about their pal.

Thankfully, the company itself has cleared it up for us.

Why is the Duolingo icon melting?

True to form, Duo is melting for one reason and one reason only – to get you to pay attention to him.

A Duolingo spokesperson said: “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.”

The melting Duo only appears for people with the latest version of the Duolingo app, so if your Duo appears perfectly fine that means you’re due an update.

Can you get rid of the melting Duo icon?

There are a couple of ways to get rid of the melting Duo icon, however they are only available to certain users.

The first is to be a Super Duolingo or Duolingo Max subscriber, which – among other benefits – allows you to change your icon to the multicoloured Super or Max-themed ones.

To do this, tap the Duo icon at the top right of the screen, scroll down to Super App Icon or Max App Icon, and tap Turn On.

Members of Duolingo’s exclusive Streak Society can also customise their app logo, to an orange Duo with burning eyes, by following the same steps.

To be a part of the Streak Society you need to have racked up a long streak of app usage – at least 50 days.