Almost all the apps crashed, but it was resolved just now. But here’s why it happened:
Several famous and most-used apps and services such as Tinder, Spotify, and Pinterest were unavailable today on iOS devices because of an issue involving Facebook log-ins but were resolved. There were widespread reports regarding the social media apps crashing whenever launched on any iOs device and corresponding outage spikes on DownDetector.com.
Facebook’s software development kit, or SDK, which many apps used to manage user logins, caused these outages. Social media users don’t need to use the Facebook app to log into an app for this to affect their software, and there were no reports of the same apps crashing on Android.
The platform acknowledged on its developer mishap this morning that its software was causing problems. “We are aware and investigating an increase in errors on the iOS SDK which is causing some apps to crash,” said the Facebook. In a GitHub thread posted around 7 AM ET, many developers reported problems with their apps and blamed Facebook for that matter.
However, around 9:30 AM ET, most users reported that the apps were working again, and by 10:30 AM ET Facebook had announced and marked the issue as “resolved.”
Facebook’s SDK has knocked out numerous apps, which give much annoyance from developers and users, which is justifiable. The same problem occurred last May 6 and affected dozens of services for a good chunk of the day. An app developer, Guilherme Rambo reportedly mentioned that the root cause of the issue is that Facebook urges developers to integrate its log-in services into their apps by offering them valuable insights about app usage and advertising in return.
“Facebook really pushes developers into installing their SDK, likely because they want the very rich data they can collect on those apps’ users,” said Rambo. “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.”
This means when there’s an issue with Facebook’s services, it affects a huge number of other apps, as it has today. Every time a user opens an app using the SDK, it makes a call to Facebook’s servers in preparation to authenticate any logins. (That’s why opening an app offline prevents the problem, although you can install an app that blocks these calls.)
We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update this story if we hear more.
Update, Friday July 10th, 10:30AM ET: Story updated after Facebook marks the problem with its SDK as “resolved.”