The fall-out from TechCrunch’s scoop on Facebook’s market research practices is getting more serious by the moment, and there are signs Google might get dragged into the debate as well.
The most immediate problem for Facebook is losing its enterprise developer access – a move which has rendered many of Facebook’s internal, business-critical apps useless. Business Insider’s Rob Price reports:
Facebook employees told Business Insider that their colleagues at the company are “pissed” and “angry” about the news and looking for someone to blame, alternately attacking Apple or their own colleagues working on the project for the setback.
“Apple is technically doing their job and has a right,” one said. “This is probably one of the worse things that can happen to the company internally.”
While engaging in some crisis management with the press, Facebook also faces some PR management within its ranks. Business Insider says it obtained this memo from Facebook executive Pedro Canahuati:
TL;DR: We have a known issue with our internal, employee only, iOS apps. Please install the public versions from the App Store until we have resolved this problem.
Apple has revoked our enterprise certificates, which means our internal, employee only iOS apps may not work. This issue affects internal, employee only, iOS builds for: Workplace, Workplace Chat, Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, and other internal apps like Mobile Home and the Ride app. This should not affect WhatsApp and this is not affecting non-employees who use our apps in production.
I get the sense that this row could be a turning point for many within Facebook, particularly engineers – as highlighted by this comment, also unearthed by Business Insider:
“Having used Apple’s developer program for my own projects it’s very clear that the purpose of an enterprise account is for internal distribution amongst a company. We can’t aspire for good press while continuing to not play by the rules.”
Meanwhile, Facebook’s stock must be taking a real batteri… oh.