Last week brought news that Venmo makes users’ transactions public on social media by default. Besides the privacy concerns, that practice may well have unintended consequences for Venmo. The latest stories surrounding Venmo are starting to sound more like the stories when young users started leaving Facebook for more private digital social interactions. A recent article from Bloomberg titled “Venmo is the best place to stalk your children,” opens with an example of a mother reading through her daughter’s Venmo feed:
“Fuchs had been reading Gina’s Venmo feed. Gina never asked for money, yet her posts were full of people paying for her food. The strawberries were the killer.
“I was like, ‘Really? Things are that bad that you’re splitting a pack of strawberries?”’ Fuchs, 46, said in an interview. “She’s like, ‘Mom, that’s not how this works.’’’
Gina, 22, wasn’t hungry or broke. She was just being a millennial. Ruby was just being her mom.”
First off, can we please stop with this millennial shaming? Being a millennial myself, I know that this type of behavior is not exclusive to our generation, but I digress. The article goes on to describe how users can add notes to Venmo transactions that might give parents a clue on how their children are spending money.
“Venmo automatically sets payments to public, so linked people can read everything from their group.”
This instance of parental oversight seems very similar to the reason many young early adopters of social networks left Facebook for other platforms. Venmo does give users the option to turn off the public setting, but the default does start users with the public setting automatically turned on. My question is: Will Venmo see younger users turn away from the app as more and more parents become aware of this new “stalking” ability?
Overview by Ryan McEndarfer, Editor-in-chief at PaymentsJournal.com