Facebook Audience Network Ads Crash Big Time

I recently wrote a post about how much I liked Facebook Audience Network and how well it was performing. Unfortunately everything has changed – for the worse.

On June 9th, 2015 Facebook rolled some code to their servers that changed the format of the JSON returned from their ad serving services. The Facebook Audience Network SDK unfortunately was not able to handle this new format and tried to parse out data that was in the wrong format, did some naughty things with pointers and casting objects to the wrong types and crashed. Thousands of my users were affected and not very happy.

After sending some frantic emails and filling out forms, I did get a response that the problem would be fixed. About 10 hours later, the problem was fixed, but not after I got a bunch of 1 star reviews and angry emails from people frustrated that You Doodle refused to open and kept crashing.

Looking over my crash logs for the last month I am seeing about 60 crashes a day from this same problem, so it’s clearly been a problem from the beginning. It was just greatly increased from whatever happened on June 9th, 2015.

Thankfully Apple is doing an expedited review for my apps that have Facebook Ads in them. The whole experience has been very frustrating. As an indie developer supporting my family on this app, I can’t afford for this to happen again. If I do put Facebook ads back in my app, I will be wrapping them with a server parameter to turn them off completely before they ever request an ad just in case…

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