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Robinhood is revising some of its app functions – especially the confetti animation – and is reviewing the so-called Gamification of Investing of the popular stock trading company.
The free stock trading pioneer, preparing for his public debut, told CNBC the move was an attempt to remove the “distraction” from its broader mission to “democratize” investment.
“In the past, we’ve used the same confetti design to celebrate novelties with customers. That included customers’ first deals, their first steps with cash management, and successful referrals from friends and family. Now we’re introducing new, dynamic ones visual experiences that cheer customers through the milestones of their financial journeys, “Robinhood said in a blog post on Wednesday.
Robinhood, seen as the gateway for young investors to access the markets, has lowered the barrier to entry for millions of retail investors. According to SimilarWeb, the platform gained an estimated 6 million users in January and February alone.
However, lawmakers and regulators have accused Robinhood of being ruthless towards its newcomers by making decisions that involve real money.
Last year, Massachusetts regulators filed a complaint against Robinhood, citing the company’s “aggressive tactics of attracting inexperienced investors, the use of gamification strategies to manipulate customers, and its failure to prevent frequent outages and disruptions on its trading platform “.
Robinhood told CNBC that the confetti is merely about positive reinforcement for a generation of investors who have long been excluded from the public markets.
“We’ve also heard the criticism and believe that if the focus shifts to some misunderstanding, this distracts and defines exactly what you’re doing,” Madhu Muthukumar, director of product management at Robinhood, told CNBC.
“That’s also a good sign to say,” Hey, we should talk about this. We should talk about what we value and not let everyone guess, “he said.
New pictures for milestones
To combat some of the criticism, Robinhood uses new images.
The confetti will be replaced with the following image when a customer makes their first trade.
Earlier this year, Robinhood found itself in the midst of a firestorm amid brief pressure on GameStop, fueled in part by Reddit-fueled retail investors.
At the height of GameStop’s rise, Robinhood and other brokers restricted trading in certain securities because clearinghouses had increased capital requirements.
Last week Robinhood filed confidential documents to go public. CNBC reported earlier this month that Robinhood selected Nasdaq to go public, according to sources familiar with the matter. Goldman Sachs advised the company on its IPO.