Many popular iOS apps were crashing, and Facebook was to blame.
From Spotify, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, Viber, Venmo, Tinder, and many others, even Apple’s App Store, they were all experiencing technical difficulties.
While the exact number of apps and users affected were unclear, but more than 15,000 people have collectively reported unable to open some of their favorite apps.
The reason was because Facebook’s software development kit, or SDK, which many apps use to manage user logins, experienced an issue.
Affecting iOS apps and users, Android apps and users were not affected.
"Something’s out of tune," Spotify said. "We’re currently investigating, and we’ll keep you posted here!"
The bug on Facebook SDK forced affected iOS apps to crash as soon as they were opened.
There was no way to fix the issue. Uninstalling and reinstalling the affected apps for example, didn't solve the problem.
At first, Spotify users thought that the widespread outage was a result of the release of Juice Wrld's new posthumous album. When it was released at midnight, users reported overwhelming interest. This made them think that Juice Wrld was to blame for Spotify's issues.
However. when users of other apps also reported issues, it appeared that the case was not unique to Spotify.
Spotify however, was first to respond and address the issue using its own method. And that was by pushing an update to the app, which result to a change on Spotify's own servers, which the app relies on to pull content from.
The cause of the outages seems to have been Facebook’s software development kit, or SDK, which many apps use to manage user logins. Users don’t have to be using Facebook to log into an app for this to affect their software. As matter of fact, the issue also happened to those who haven't installed the Facebook app.
“We are aware and investigating an increase in errors on the iOS SDK which is causing some apps to crash,” wrote a message on Facebook’s status dashboard.
The issue was then resolved, with Facebook saying that a code change triggered the crashes.
"We identified the issue quickly and resolved it. We apologize for any inconvenience," the status reads.
The annoyance from developers and users was justified, considering that this isn’t the first time that Facebook’s SDK made many apps to crash.
Previously, a near-identical problem happened on May and affected dozens of services for about a day.
Third-party apps integrate Facebook SDK to enable things like account login, analytics, and ads platform integration. In return, Facebook can gather very rich data from users who use those apps.
With its reach, Facebook's advertising empire and data mining capabilities can reach almost all corners of the web and mobile, even when internet users aren't using Facebook. With this ability, Facebook can reach, trace, track, follow and profile almost anyone on the web, and shown them ads that are tailored "for you".