Venmo Scraps 'Global Feed' Feature That Made Transactions Visible to the Public
The Pay-Pal-owned app announced the changes in a blog post Tuesday, stating the "friends feed" is the only social feed that will be available on the platform.
Image via Getty/Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket
Venmo just got a whole lot better.
The Pay-Pal owned company announced Tuesday it was ditching its “global feed”—a controversial feature that allowed payments to be viewed by complete strangers. Although Venmo provided the option to make transactions private, friends lists and payment activity were visible to the public by default, which of course came as a surprise to many new users.
Venmo confirmed the change in a blog post about the app’s new look, stating the “friends feed” will stay on the platform to maintain its social media component.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to continually evolve the Venmo platform, while staying true to the heart of the Venmo experience, we are removing the global feed, and the friends feed is now the only social feed that will appear in the app,” the company wrote. “The Venmo community has grown to more than 70 million customers, so this change allows customers to connect and share meaningful moments and experiences with the people who matter most.”
Venmo said the redesigned app began rolling out to select customers Tuesday, and will be available worldwide in the upcoming weeks.
Since its inception, the app has faced mounting criticism over its weak privacy features. These concerns were highlighted in a May 2021 BuzzFeed News report in which the outlet managed to track down President Joe Biden’s Venmo account as well as those of his close contacts.
“Venmo’s privacy failures are already a big problem for everyday folks who use Venmo, and that’s been the case for years,” Gennie Gebhart of the Electronic Frontier Foundation told BuzzFeed News. “All of those problems are magnified when we’re talking about a major public figure.”
POTUS and first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, reportedly deleted their accounts shortly after the BuzzFeed News story was published.