It’s been a very eventful day for Facebook, with the company losing its Facebook Research app, as well as a whole host of internal apps, all in a matter of hours.
The fun started when it was discovered that Facebook was paying people $20 per month to install and use a so-called research app that was vacuuming up data as it went.
Because it knew that Apple would never allow this onto the App Store, it released it via its own enterprise certificate, allowing people to install it without using the App Store. That isn’t what the enterprise certificates are for, so Facebook was immediately in hot water with Apple. That was bad enough, but Apple has now removed multiple Facebook enterprise certificates, with untold consequences.
There have been claims from within Facebook that many of its internal apps are no longer working, and simply crash when launched. It also means that the company can no longer beta test it’s own apps, with early versions of Facebook, Instagram, Messanger, and other in-development apps no longer working on Facebook device.
This is something that is likely to have real consequences for Facebook, although there is some doubt in the developer community as to whether Apple will hold its nerve, or whether it will buckle and allow Facebook to create new certificates with the belief that it has made its point.
Ultimately, we now need to see just how this pans out, but it’s clear to all that Facebook is currently in a very bad way internally because of this, with some apps that are heavily relied on within the company simply no longer viable.
Update: Sarah Frier of Bloomberg has confirmed, that all of Facebook’s internal iOS apps, are indeed, dead for now:
Facebook confirms that ALL its employee-only internal iOS apps (the apps testing every product in the works, as well as internal employee resource apps, for transportation etc) are offline. They say they’re trying to negotiate with Apple right now.
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