Venmo Drops The Global Social Feed That Can Make Your Payments Visible To Strangers

Venmo has announced that it is removing his global social feed on Tuesday, the infamous payment app feature that allows strangers to potentially view payments you make and receive on Venmo (through Bloomberg).

Now the social elements of Venmo are limited to your real friends in the app in the “friends feed” without having to switch features in the app. The company buried the change in a blog post with an update to the Venmo app. Venmo writes:

As part of our ongoing effort to continuously 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 to appear in the app. 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.

Until recently, Venmo also didn’t offer users control over who saw their friends list in the app, which is potentially taxing in a completely different way from seeing the contents of a transaction. After Buzzfeed news discovered President Biden’s Venmo account and the accounts of people in his inner circle through the friends list, the company added additional privacy controls for the visibility of your Venmo contacts.

How the new “goods or services” payment switch appears in Venmo.
Image: Venmo

In addition to the major change in what is actually visible in the Venmo app, the company is also giving users the option to specify whether they make a payment for a “good or service” and receive the benefits of Venmo’s Purchase Protection program. Anyone who accepts payment for goods or a service has to pay a small fee to receive their money (1.9 percent of the transaction plus 10 cents), but Venmo says it can cover the buyer and seller for refunds, giving Venmo more is in accordance with the purchase Protection its parent company PayPal offers.

Venmo says the updated app experience should be available in the coming weeks.