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Tandem App

The Story of Tandem Language Parties

As a global language exchange app, we’ve made it our mission to create the platform for language learners to connect with one another.

That’s why - when we discovered that Tandem members were looking for a way to connect beyond the traditional 1-1 format – we decided to build something totally new. Something that would blow the doors open to our community and enable connection like never before.

After months of researching, testing and developing, we landed on a feature. Little did we know how big its impact would be!

This is the story of Language Parties: past, present and future.

Where did we come from?

Since our app hit stores almost 8 years ago, we’ve been committed to growing our online language learning community from the ground up.

People from all over the world have come to us with suitcases full of dreams: to finally meet someone from Brazil; to get to intermediate Swedish before they move to Stockholm for work; to speak at least 100 words of Mandarin before the end of the year.

It’s been beautiful to watch. In that time, our community has grown to over 20 million members – and we’ve added no fewer than 300 languages along the way.

But while we’ve worked hard to hone our craft, ensuring the best possible experience for people to learn through 1-1 chats and calls, we’ve also felt something was missing.

You see - everyone is different. While some prefer a more intimate environment to improve their skills, some are better suited to larger scale environments. They find groups to be a more dynamic and supportive way to learn.

Over the last three years, with the pandemic only increasing people’s interest in online language learning, the feedback about groups came through louder and clearer than ever before.

So we got workshopping!

What did we do?

Test, test, test.

It was all very well knowing that our members wanted to communicate in groups - but what did that really mean?

The thing is - groups come in many shapes and sizes. Old school Facebook communities; Reddit-style forums; WhatsApp private chats… What would the right kind of group look like for Tandem?

We spent months trying out different formats, speaking to our community about them, adjusting them, re-testing them.

Finally, after a whole summer of research, one idea emerged strongest of all. We didn’t have a name for it yet, but it seemed like it could be the answer to our questions. A space where our members would be able to connect with each other in a brand new social format.

We launched our first version in January 2022, and called it Language Parties.

The rest is history.

Where are we now?

Language Parties have been live for a year now, and we’re thrilled to say our community absolutely loves them.

Tandem members from all walks of life are hopping into Parties to share stories, play games, sing karaoke and - most importantly - learn from each other.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive: over 80% of our members claim they improve their speaking and listening skills faster inside Parties. 80%!

There have been challenges along the way, of course. Passionate community members are bound to have passionate conversations!

That’s why we wrote the Language Parties Guidelines. We wanted to make sure the rules of engagement in Parties were as clear as possible, and ensure everyone was using the platform to have positive, productive discussions.

(It goes without saying that if you ever come across something that makes you feel uneasy, we encourage you to report the person or send us an email at

Language Parties are by no means the finished product, but we really hope we’ve taken a step in the right direction. Which brings us to…

Where are we going next?

We are so very excited about what’s to come!

Although we don’t want to make huge promises, what you can expect is a whole load of features that make Language Parties even more focused on the ‘Language’.

We want to empower Hosts to create fun, educational events, and also give Listeners (participants who might still be plucking up the courage to talk) the opportunity to get involved.

We’ll also be releasing a string of core improvements to how the platform works. You’ll soon be able to view members’ profiles properly from within the Party, and you’ll also (finally!) have the ability to minimize the Party when you want to do other things on Tandem.

That’s not to mention some even bigger plans we have in the distant future… (Spoiler alert: Tandem’s about to get even more social!)

Our roadmap is like a bustling highstreet at rush hour, and we’re really thankful for your patience as we work hard to make all the right things happen for you.

Final word

Don’t get us wrong - we still truly believe in the power of 1-1 communication when it comes to finding rhythm, consistency and long term gains in your language learning journey. 1-1 communication is, and always will be, the solid foundation on which our app is built.

But what we’ve learned from the launch of Language Parties is that ALL sorts of learners are able to benefit from a more dynamic approach to learning. Unlike real life Parties, which can be daunting to those who consider themselves more introverted, Language Parties are proving to be the perfect way for the camera-shy among us to get involved.

With no video, no pressure to speak and a community of supportive language enthusiasts at your fingertips, Language Parties are the perfect way for you to kickstart your language learning story.

So what are you waiting for? Jump into a Party today and meet the native speakers who will help you get to the next level.

*Written by Lazlo Barclay, Product Manager at Tandem*
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