The Confetti Party’s Ending but Robinhood Says Trade On

Young Japanese Man Using Smart Phone for Online Trading
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The trading isn’t over, but maybe the party is. Robinhood Markets, known for its popular trading app, says it’s doing away with the shower of confetti that typically animates an app user’s screen after trades and other transactions. 

The move comes as Robinhood prepares to go public, having filed its draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, amid allegations that the company gamifies its app to lure naive traders to its investment platform. Last year, Massachusetts securities regulators accused Robinhood  of using features on its app, like the confetti, “to encourage and entice continuous and repetitive use of its trading application.”

In the complaint, the Massachusetts Securities Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office specifically noted the confetti. “Confetti rains down on the screen of the app after each trade and customers are encouraged to interact with the app repeatedly to move up a waitlist for early access to new products,” regulators said in a statement.

Starting next week, though, Robinhood is replacing its confetti with other animations to celebrate milestones, like making a first investment or depositing money in the app. 

“In the past, we used the same confetti design to celebrate firsts with customers,” the company said in a blog post on Wednesday. “Those included customers’ first trades, their first steps with cash management, and successful referrals of friends and family. Now, we’re introducing new, dynamic visual experiences that cheer on customers through the milestones in their financial journeys.”

Robinhood saw increased activity last spring as the first round of stimulus checks went out, and also played a key role in the frenzied trading in stocks like GameStop in January this year. Robinhood has 13 million customers, CEO Vlad Tenev told the Congress in his testimony in February.