This kind of is like Facebook or Twitter for me.' " The decision to expose the payments publicly was controversial.
Why would someone want to tell the world he just gave his roommate the rent money or paid back a friend for ? Interviews with more than a dozen Venmo users showed how they are are finding new ways to jury-rig the app into a more social experience, such as using the messages for crude and silly inside jokes ("sex swing for new apt"; "money I stole from your wallet"), cataloging memorable events, sending money for drinks to a missed bachelorette party, or -- like with Mellema -- making micropayments to friends as a clever way of saying hi.Brent Schneiders, a 28-year-old actor from North Hollywood, California, said he's charged back women for dinner or drinks if dates go poorly."It's more of me throwing a fit and trying to communicate to them that 'I never want to see you again,' " he said.Magdon-Ismail pushed for the change, and it helped the app go viral.New users seeing their friends paying with the startup service created a layer of trust, known as "social proof," Lampe said, and encouraged them to bring more friends along.