Duolingo makes some lofty claims, e.g. finishing up a course will be equivalent to one year of college-level language courses. After spending ~1hr a day on their French program for 3 months, I actually finished their French course, and they actually classified my skills as advanced (ha!).
Quite frankly, it is rather fun, not too hard, but also, quite disjointed. Prior to Duolingo, I spent one year learning French at college for 1 hr/day, which gave me the foundation to actually use Duolingo. Duolingo helped with vocabulary acquisition, but not much else, really.
I found its usefulness/uselessness, when I tried to learn Russian from scratch on Duolingo. I spent probably 1 month (~30 min a day) on the app for Russian, advancing to level 7 (whatever that means). A lot of time was spent learning Cyrillic, which was very useful to my survival when I was in Central Asia (I ended up eating a lot of пицца/pizza, because that's one of the few words I could read. Also, I like pizza). Beyond that, I realized that its basics really has some oddballs that makes it hard for jumping into basic conversation. Like why would I want to know the words for man, woman, girl, boy before learning something like "Where are you from?" or "What is your name?"
If you use Duolingo, how do you use it?