Many popular and worldwide apps such as Spotify, Pinterest, GroupMe, and TikTok have been reporting and fielding user’s IOS reports that the apps have been crashing since last Wednesday evening. According to a lengthy conversation on a GitHub thread, the issue is identified to be the Facebook SDK that is causing issues from its ends. It is not new. Facebook has had this issue many times before, and they have also tackled it tactfully.
Downdetector is a site that reports on crashes encountered by popular apps. Recently, it has logged thousands of user crash reports found on Spotify. These logs were reported between 3.30 PM and 5.30 PM PT, and most of the crashes were reported during this period. Not only Spotify but other popular and widely used apps were facing crash reports as well. After these logs were published for public viewing online, the crashes seem to have decreased a lot and are being reported as dying down.
Most of the users on their reports said that their apps were crashing down as soon as they launched the app. Initially, users assumed that the apps might be encountering issues individually. Still, when several reports started surfacing for different popular apps, it was easy to find the root cause to be Facebook SDK.
It is not very common information, and many users may also find it shocking that most of the major apps that they use on their phones get immediately connected to the Facebook servers as soon as the apps are launched. It happens because almost every app relies on the servers and SDK of Facebook for its advertising insights along with the authentication and login portal.
Even though a user may not have used his Facebook account to log in to the app, he will still be facing crash issues as the app connects directly to the Facebook server on its launch. Experts indicated that it might be because of the failure in Facebook SDK for authentication and login purposes. Still, when reports started coming in for users that do not use Facebook to log in, the conclusion was established that it is the cause of the Apps connection with Facebook Server for advertising needs.
After several users reported the issue, Spotify provided an update on its Twitter Handle, which read, “We’re aware of some issues right now and are checking them out! We’ll keep you posted”.
The company has indeed tried to fix the issue and find the root cause of it. But as the problem is not from their end, it is Facebook that will have to resolve it in one way or the other. On trying to get in touch with Facebook, leading news portal TechCrunch was met with a silent response. No spokesperson from the company was immediately available for comment, and the company has not replied to any calls, texts, and messages.
What is the root cause of it, and what is Facebook trying to fix it, is still unknown. But knowing the CEO of Facebook, it is very clear that the company must be working on some major updates and hence the SDK failure. But the company will be releasing a detailed statement about it in a day or two.
Facebook had also made various changes to its UI in terms of both the app side as well as the web. They also launched Messenger for desktop last month, which had made it very easy for people to communicate with each other, do video calls and texts at the time of the coronavirus pandemic. The company has surely been busy for the last several months. After going through such massive updates and working on coming up with something new within a few months, it is no wonder that the Facebook SDK may suffer from some issue.