Why So Many Apps Are Crashing On iPhones Today

Photographed by Ryan Williams.
On Friday morning, thousands of iPhone users woke up to find that a lot of their go-to apps were crashing. The affected apps so far include Spotify, Pinterest, TikTok, and Tinder (shoutout to the pre-work Tinder users). Many a morning commute was disrupted, not only by lack of music streaming but also by Waze crashes.
A swarm of disgruntled users took to Twitter to complain. They talked about uninstalling and re-downloading apps in hopes of fixing a problem that would only persist through their efforts. 
Turns out, Facebook is to blame. An update to Facebook's developer site explained: "Earlier today, a code change triggered crashes for some iOS apps using the Facebook SDK. We identified the issue quickly and resolved it. We apologize for any inconvenience." In other words, Facebook's tinkering accidentally triggered these crashes across apps. An SDK is a "software development kit," which lets app developers embed some of Facebook's services into their apps, like logins, for example.
It's likely that if you were one of the many who experienced crashes earlier today, you used Facebook to log into the affected apps. And it's not the first time this has happened. The Verge reported that nearly the same incident had happened this past May.
The TikTok glitches from yesterday afternoon, followed by this morning's app crashes have been stirring up some hysteria on social media. The virtual worlds that for the last few months have kept us connected and entertained are being exposed in their precarity, and it's very nerve-wracking.

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