Report: Widespread iPhone App Outage Caused by Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg frowning
Getty/Chip Somodevilla

A number of popular iPhone apps such as Spotify, Pinterest, Waze and Tinder all crashed today with analysis appearing to show that Facebook is to blame.

The Verge reports that a number of popular apps and services such as Spotify, Pinterest, and Tinder were all unusable for a period of time Friday on iOS devices, likely due to a bug in the Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK.) Some apps were able to be launched in offline mode but when connecting to the internet, promptly crashed.

The exact cause of the issue has yet to be fully confirmed but it is currently believed that the issue lies with Facebook’s SDK, which many apps use to manage user logins. Users are not required to use Facebook to log into an app for this to affect the software. Currently, there are no reports of apps crashing on Android devices, only iOS.

Some users took to Twitter to describe the issues they were facing:

On its developer platform this morning, Facebook acknowledged that its software was causing issues. “We are aware and investigating an increase in errors on the iOS SDK which is causing some apps to crash,” said Facebook. Numerous issues were reported by developers in a GitHub thread posted at approximately 7 AM EST.

A similar issue to this occurred on May 6 affecting dozens of services. App developer Guilherme Rambo said at the time that the main cause of the issue is that Facebook encourages developers to integrate its log-in services into their apps by offering them valuable insights about app usage and advertising.

“Facebook really pushes developers into installing their SDK, likely because they want the very rich data they can collect on those app’s users,” said Rambo in May. “The SDK is offered as a convenience for both developers and marketing teams, since it can also be used to track the conversions of ads run through Facebook.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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