How can the billion-dollar app company allow its product to become inexplicably buggy?
It was not long ago that Instagram was my favorite app in my leisure hours. Like millions of other people, I find it fun and intimate. Make and look at pretty pictures! I was not bothered when Facebook acquired* my favorite little startup.
But then a couple of weeks ago, things started to go haywire. It seemed like every few times I opened the app, it crashed. I could do the exact same thing twice and one time it would crash. There was no rhyme or reason; the app had become unstable.
I started counting. On the fourth of July, the app crashed six times. Yesterday, it crashed five times. Every few times I open the app, it spontaneously closes itself. I contacted Instagram multiple times for this story, even including my crash logs, and never heard back from their team.
My device's crash logs seem to indicate that the main problem is that "Instagram has active assertions beyond permitted time." This appears to be a recognized problem that coders occasionally discuss.
From what I can tell, I am not alone in this problem. I didn't do a formal survey, but several iPhone 4S users are having similar trouble. Meanwhile, other 4S users are having no problems at all. There do not appear to be any obvious differences between the group having problems and the group that's sailing along. This is confounding and worrisome. There's no method to the bugginess madness!
Mysterious, serious, and persistent bugs like this may be (almost) tolerable for new apps, but we're talking about a company that sold for a billion dollars. It's not acceptable to deliver an app to some percentage of your loyal users that crashes all the time.
It also makes me wonder if being acquired by a much larger company with a much bigger and different mission might make Instagram slightly less committed to delivering the perfect standalone photo app.
Two questions for you, if you're an Instagram user. 1) Are you having this problem? 2) Have you solved it? Please share.
* As Dan Frommer notes, the deal hasn't closed yet, but one can imagine they might be a little distracted.