Robinhood to Remove Controversial Digital Confetti From Trading App

Robinhood Markets Inc. is eliminating digital confetti from its trading app, the latest sign that the popular brokerage is working to correct concerns from critics, as it moves forward with plans to go public.

Robinhood’s digital confetti, which historically has rained down on users’ screens to celebrate occasions such as making a first trade, has become a point of contention for the brokerage in recent months. Critics have pointed to the animation as a sign that the company “gamifies” investing. Robinhood repeatedly defended the design.

Starting next week, however, the company plans to roll out new digital designs. Instead of confetti, users will see animations that the company hopes will acknowledge “investing milestones” while also providing customers with more information about the actions they are taking.

“The confetti is getting really misconstrued, and I think it’s actually doing the opposite of what we want,” said Madhu Muthukumar, senior director of product management at Robinhood. It “seems to have distracted from the goal of the app, which is to make regular people, everyday folks who have been kept out of the market, feel like they can participate and feel like they are being positively reinforced for taking steps in their financial life.”

“If the focus of a conversation is around confetti and not around these people taking these first steps…then we’ve done something that’s just off base,” Mr. Muthukumar added.

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