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Facebook enters its second day of chaos after Apple blocked its internal company apps

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Facebook enters its second day of chaos after Apple blocked its internal company apps

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • Apple has blocked Facebook’s internal apps, plunging the company into chaos.
  • The block came after Facebook tried to evade Apple’s policies with an app that spied on smartphone users in exchange for cash.
  • It’s now the second day that Facebook employees are unable to access internal apps that are critical to the company.
  • The social network previously told its employees that it’s “working closely” with Apple, but it’s not clear when the company will regain access.

Facebook is suffering through a second day of chaos.

On Wednesday, Apple took the extraordinary step of effectively blocking Facebook’s internal company iOS apps, causing havoc for the Silicon Valley tech giant’s tens of thousands of employees. They’ve been left unable to do anything, from communicating with their colleagues to using company transportation.

The iPhone maker took action after Facebook was caught by tech-news site TechCrunch paying people to install an app that let it spy on their data and phone habits. The program violated Apple’s policies, so Apple pulled the plug by revoking the app’s certificate — and because that certificate was also powering all of Facebook’s internal employee apps, they all stopped working too.

In a leaked memo obtained by Business Insider on Wednesday, Facebook leadership attempted to quell unrest among employees and told them the company was working “closely” with Apple. But a day later, Facebook’s internal apps remain unusable, sources say.

In some cases, employees are able to get around the block by redownloading the Facebook app from the public Apple App Store. The social network’s employees all typically run special beta versions of the apps that let the company test new features, so switching to the public versions is a logistical pain and slows down internal development, but it’s not ruinous.

Other apps frequently used by employees don’t have a public version, however, leaving employees on iOS completely unable to access them. These include the Ride app, which deals with company transportation, and Mobile Home, which provides info for employees.

The incident highlights the astonishing power Apple can wield over other companies that rely on its platform, and it’s one of the most immediately disruptive consequences Facebook has faced thus far from its chain of scandals and missteps over the past two years.

As of right now, it’s not clear when Facebook will be granted a new certificate, and spokespeople for Facebook and Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.

Employees are “pissed” and “angry” about the outage, alternately blaming their own colleagues’ actions for the block and accusing Apple of being out to get Facebook.

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