This story was originally published and last updated .
Payment apps like Venmo have improved many group dinners out at restaurants — no more fighting over the bill when you can transfer money right at the table. Of course, it's far from a perfect service. Although the social feed makes it easy to find your contacts in Venmo, it also features a global feed broadcasting every public transaction made in the app. With an upcoming redesign, you can say goodbye to that worldwide channel.
With this new look, Venmo is adopting a modern bottom navigation row that makes it easier to discover features you might not even be using, including credit and debit cards and the recently-added cryptocurrencies option. However, the biggest change comes with a significant removal from the social feed. Although it's easy to make all of your Venmo transactions private by default, the global feed included in the app has long been called out for its unsafe practices.
This feature led to a report a couple of months ago, where Buzzfeed News discovered Joe Biden's private account within ten minutes of looking for it. While it's impossible to say whether this slimmed-down social network is a response to an ever-bubbling source of controversy, it seems like it might just be time to let it slowly sink into the night.
You'll still be able to view both your personal and friends feeds within the app, of course, which both gain additional icons along the bottom navigation row. Venmo is also refining its current privacy controls, along with new ways to protect sellers and buyers alike.
The redesigned app starts appearing today for a select group of users, though it'll take weeks until it's available for everyone. Get in a few final rounds of "what was this stranger's payment actually for" while you still can.
Judging by our own experiences with the app, as well as those posting about it on social media, it seems that Venmo's redesign — and the death of its much-maligned public feed — has reached most of its users. In addition to killing off the global channel, all of the various payment tabs are now based along the bottom of the screen, making the app easier to navigate on large screens.
This update also includes a new toggle on every payment, asking you to mark whether you're paying for a good or service. It all comes back to Venmo's new seller fees, first announced a couple of months ago, which require the seller end of business transactions to pay a transfer fee on any payment sent to them. This toggle won't apply to most users, which makes the decision to prominently place it on every single transaction all the more confusing.