Venmo took over Instagram and Twitter feeds with a 24-hour contest on Monday, and quite frankly, the experience was downright hellish.
On June 28, the popular mobile payment app posted to social media to let followers know that $100,000 would be given away to a lucky 100 people who entered the contest. (The $100,000 would be split between 50 people on Twitter and 50 on Instagram for individual prizes of $500.)
To ensure the giveaway was authentic and not a familiar social media scam, Venmo posted official giveaway rules to its website. The rules state that “a Venmo account in good standing is required to receive a prize,” and in order to be eligible for the payout a person must also follow @venmo.
Now, I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t love a free $500 — especially from a huge service owned by PayPal — but my goodness, Venmo’s sweepstakes was deeply annoying.
As you can imagine, the giveaway gained a noteworthy amount of attention and users shared the posts a ridiculous number of times. You couldn’t use social media on Monday without seeing Venmo’s blue, purple, and white logo. It felt scammy, and a little like the return of chain mail.
I’m fairly certain the logo is burned into my retinas for eternity. To be honest, we all deserve $500 just for going through this journey.
As the sweepstakes comes to a close, actual winners have started posting screenshots of $500 payments they’ve received from Venmo. Though the majority of us are not $500 richer, we can at least rest easy knowing this whole thing wasn’t a scam and we’ll be able to return to our regular Venmo-free social media feeds shortly.
Though the initial Venmo sweepstakes post says the giveaway ended on June 28, the rules state that there will be a second entry period on June 29.
We might not be out of the woods yet, but it’s OK, everyone. The Venmo contest can’t hurt us forever.