Press Release: italki launches “WhatsApp for language learning”

January 29th, 2013 | Posted by ross in announcement | mobile - (Comments Off on Press Release: italki launches “WhatsApp for language learning”)

Language learning social network launches iPhone app to connect 1 million language partners around the world through text and voice chat

SHANGHAI, China – January 29, 2013 – italki, the leading social network for language learning, has launched the first iPhone app to connect language learners around the world through text, voice, and images. The “italki Messenger” allows language learners to text message, voice chat, and share images with the over 1 million language learners currently using italki.

“Chatting with a language partner is one of the most popular activities on the italki website.  Extending this to a mobile app is a great way to help our users stay connected and learn a language,” said co-founder, Kevin Chen. “Users can now practice their written and spoken language, anytime and anywhere.  No other app connects you instantly with other language learners.”

italki’s iPhone app allows language learners to text message, voice message, and share pictures.  After creating an account, a user can search for new language partners by language or country.  Over 200 countries and over 100 languages are represented on italki, which gives users the opportunity to start practicing any language immediately.

“We are delighted with the launch of italki’s iPhone app,” said William Bao Bean, an investor in italki. “We expect italki will continue to innovate on both mobile and web.”

To download italki’s free iPhone app (“italki Messenger”), click here.

About italki

italki is an online language learning community that brings students and teachers together for paid and free language learning.  Since launching in 2007, the italki community has grown to over 1 million members from over 200 countries and has been featured in top international press such as Techcrunch, Mashable, The Independent, and The Guardian.

Visit for more information.

Press Contact:
Ross Cranwell
Marketing Director


Hello Italki!

As the new online Community Manager, my mission is to provide high quality, person-to- person service for teachers and students alike.

If you have a problem, I’ll take care of it.  Think of me as your personal concierge.

I am originally from Parsons, Kansas, a town of less than 20,000 people. I grew up in Milwaukee WI, and have spent the last 6 years living in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C. and most recently Shanghai.

While studying advertising at Columbia College Chicago, I worked as a fundraiser for charity and have a vested interest in making the world a better place.

I like to run, play video games, and recently developed an interest in Standup Comedy.

My role at italki is online Community Manager. I am a personal contact point for all students and teachers who use the site and I’m very approachable. If you have any questions or comments, or if you have a problem of any kind, you can reach me by visiting my profile at 

I look forward to knowing each and every one of you.

-Sam Bleakly

A New Learning Challenge for 2013!

January 6th, 2013 | Posted by ross in announcement | promotion - (Comments Off on A New Learning Challenge for 2013!)

Hey language learners, make 2013 the year you learn a foreign language!
Don’t let this be another year of slow progress. No matter what level or language, we know you can make real progress at italki. In order to help you, we’re offering:

italki Language Challenge January 2013 in cooperation with OpenLanguage


in partnership with OPENLANGUAGE

Take 10 sessions with an italki teacher in January

and receive 3 months of free language lessons from OpenLanguage.

If you are serious about learning a language, this is a fantastic opportunity to get live one-on-one lessons AND access to great language learning podcasts, PDFs, and study tools. After taking the language challenge, you will definitely make progress towards becoming fluent in 2013!

How hard is this to do?

Last November, we ran our first italki Language Challenge. Almost 80 students pledged to take 8 lessons in 2 weeks, and more than 60 students completed the challenge. That’s roughly 80% of the students who pledged who received the prize. The bottom line is that it’s all up to you!

Did it help people learn a language?

Don’t take our word for it. Here is what one student, Grant Macandrew, says:

“I have been taking weekly lessons for over a year and had already planned a trip to a language school in China in December. I had been considering several lessons a week in order to prepare for the class and this [the italki November Language Challenge] motivated me to do just that. The pressure of being ready for class plus the extra hours I spent with tutors has increased my Mandarin learning and I feel more confident in being ready for the upcoming classes. I will consider 2 to 3 lessons per week in the future with italki.”

If you are serious about learning a language, go to the January 2013 Language Challenge page. Take the pledge and learn a language this year!

Sign up for the January 2013 Language Challenge!

More about OpenLanguage:

We are delighted to be working with Openlanguage to provide this amazing prize for italki students who complete the Language Challenge. OpenLanguage is designed for busy people, and allows students to learn a new language on their computer, tablet, smartphone, or even smart TV. OpenLanguage offers lessons in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Italian.

i love italki Facebook Competition!

December 10th, 2012 | Posted by ross in announcement | event | promotion - (Comments Off on i love italki Facebook Competition!)

The i love italki Facebook Competition

Congratulations to Giane Rosa, Artika Werian and Leyla Bittieva who were the winners in our “I Love italki” Facebook Competition. Each won 20 usd worth of language lessons on italki!

If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry, because we will be launching new competitions on a regular basis on our Facebook page. If you haven’t joined the Official italki Facebook page yet, make sure to do so now!

New Position at italki: Online Community Advocate

November 27th, 2012 | Posted by ross in announcement - (Comments Off on New Position at italki: Online Community Advocate)

Update: This position has been filled as of January, 2013.

As italki continues to grow, and we look to support our students and teachers better, we will be recruiting a new Online Community Advocate for our office in Shanghai.

For interested parties, please email your resume to ross at

Introduction to the role: 
We are a fast-growing tech startup looking for a native English speaker who would like to be part of an exciting, yet relaxed working environment. We need someone who is focused, motivated & responsible with strong communications skills & who is ready to work now.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following: 
Engaging with the italki online Community
Responding to English emails and enquiries from italki teachers and students
Managing social networking channels – Facebook, Twitter
Writing for newsletters, website, PR, advertising
Co-ordination and implementation of direct mail and email campaigns
Assisting in other general marketing initiatives

Minimum Requirements: 
Outgoing personality
Very strong English communication skills
Good organisational and planning skills
Experience in community management, customer service
Experience in marketing and communications
Interested in technology, language learning

Preferred Qualifications: 
2+ years work experience
BA in marketing and communications
Mandarin Chinese