Venmo, the mobile payment app run by PayPal, has revolutionized how we pay each other. Group restaurant outings are no longer a hassle; collecting bill money from roommates has become far easier. Hooray, technology! But as with everything good, there’s a catch: The app has long had that inexplicable public feed, in which not just mutuals but complete strangers can see you, say, wildly overpay for hipster pizza. (Or, if you’re Matt Gaetz, potentially more salacious enterprises.)
Well, no more, sort of: According to BuzzFeed, Venmo has announced that they’re ending the global view part of their social feed, which treats the app like just another social media service. Users will no longer get to see someone they’ve never met forking some dough over to a mutual you sent cash years ago, complete with fun or just plain cryptic explanations for what they’ve paid for. It’s part of an overall overhaul of the app that will take place over the next few weeks.
That doesn’t mean transactions made over the app are no longer public. The public feed will simply no longer be active. One can still, if one is nosy, click on friend’s pages and see, say, the absurd amount they pay in monthly utilities.
It’s not only users who’ve idly complained about the public feed feature. Privacy groups, too, have long chewed out Venmo for how much info they allow on public view. Recently the app made it possible to change one’s Friends List from public to private. That’s a great step but, as BuzzFeed points out, they could go further and make private the default setting. But maybe that will require another baby step.