(Updated: Article updated with statement from OANDA below)
In an article written last year titled ‘Social Trading – Because it Sells’ we mentioned that regardless of what your opinion of social trading is, the facts on the ground support that it is getting demand from clients. Well, apparently not all social trading networks are created equal.
Falling to criticism of its platform and network, OANDA announced to clients that they are discontinuing the fxUnity platform and sent this message to clients:
Effective Friday, March 8, 2013, OANDA will no longer support the fxUnity platform. As a result, we are requesting that you close all open trades in your fxUnity account before 5 p.m. EST on Friday, March 8th. All trades still open at that time will be closed automatically by OANDA.
Although we are discontinuing fxUnity, we remain focused on your forex needs and we are dedicating our resources toward developing new, world-class innovative products from the desktop to mobile devices.
Transferring Your Funds
Any funds remaining in your fxUnity account can either be transferred to your existing fxTrade account, or withdrawn at your convenience by using the OANDA Funds Management System. Your fxUnity transaction history and account statements will continue to be available to you via your fxTrade account page.
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If you have any questions about this announcement, please contact our Client Experience team directly email@example.com.
The platform which was launched last year failed to reach its one year anniversary. At the time, OANDA was only the second broker to launch a proprietary social trading network as rival brokers have tended to work with third party solutions such as Tradeo, SIRIX Trader and FXJunction.
We reached out to OANDA whether this marks the end of social trading at OANDA or whether there will be a revamped product launch. In an interesting answer that touches on OANDA’s view of technology first company, as well as stating that Social Trading is a work in progress, Trevor Young, VP of Product Management said:
As a company of innovators, OANDA has never shied away from experimenting with product ideas. Our fxUnity platform was both an experiment and a great learning experience for us as an organization. That alone is incredibly valuable as the era of “social mobility” comes to drive business. But fxUnity also enabled us to validate HTML5 as a technology and we’re putting that new knowledge to good use as we continuously work to improve our platform.
Although we have discontinued fxUnity, we remain actively engaged in the social forex space through partnerships (i.e. StockTwits). We see great potential in social but we believe this area is still evolving. Our plan is to leverage best-of-breed partners to complement our core technology for desktop and mobile.
We’ve been closely monitoring social trading trends and the various platforms out there. It’s raised a few red flags for us, given our commitment to trader education and support. Creating a game-like experience where traders copy the trades of others can be fun, but it’s not necessarily helpful in learning to become a successful trader. With no guarantees that the traders you copy actually know what they’re doing, the dynamic becomes one of the blind leading the blind. This is something we want to avoid.
OANDA is committed to providing the tools and support traders need to be successful. Our focus is to develop world-class products that meet the demands of our customers, wherever and however they want to trade. We’re evaluating other ways to facilitate trader education, and looking closely at partners that have a trader mentorship philosophy rather than a “trading can be fun and easy!” approach. We want to ensure that our forays into social actually benefit our customers and not hinder their progress
Perhaps I am reading too much into this response, but it seems that its a safe bet we will be seeing the rollout of a new HTML5 cross platform trading system from OANDA that incorporates both traditional and social trading in the not so distant future.