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Facebook Outage & The Reality Of SDK Creep

Facebook Crashed Many Sites Yesterday

For the second time this year, Facebook has caused major outages of apps across the world due to its negligence and poor code management. Due to a bug introduced into the iOS Facebook SDK, apps on iOS that used Facebook login were crashing. This included: TikTok, Tinder, Spotify and many more.

While Facebook quickly “resolved” the issue, the fact remains that this isn’t the first time nor the last time something like this will happen with large companies and their SDKs and APIs. You see the problem with relying too much on third party solutions is that you are at their mercy. If their solution breaks and you rely on it, then you are screwed with little recourse other than to wait until the engineers at said company resolve the issue. Time lost equates to dollars lost, it’s not a good look.

SDK Creep

SDK creep is exactly what happened yesterday but it doesn’t just happen when something breaks. SDK creep can happen when a new version of said SDK comes out and restricts previous functionality that may have been core to your business. It could come in the form of changes in billing or even the ultimate form of that SDK going away completely. Imagine building a million dollar app and the backbone that powers it suddenly *poof* gone! This is something every developer and software entrepreneur should consider when designing the architecture for their applications.

I am a big proponent of writing your own services when it is feasible to do so from a financial and time perspective. Not only will you not have to worry about a third party service going down, but you also have more flexibility in terms of extension, growth and use.

We are increasingly getting to the point where a few tech giants are becoming the backbone of more and more startups and small companies. We as a tech community need to make sure we don’t give up too much power before we end up with a tech oligarchy or oligopoly.

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