As of about 4:45 p.m. Pacific, Facebook for Android became useless. The app started crashing and showing users a generic “Facebook has stopped” error message. If you’re seeing this problem, we recommend firing up Google Play and trying to update the app manually.
The good news is that one of our staff members wasn’t seeing the problem on a newer version (18.104.22.168.68 as opposed to 22.214.171.124.337). That’s how we stumbled on a potential solution. To fix the issue, close Facebook completely (make sure it’s not running in the background), open up Google Play, find the Facebook app, hit the Update button on the right, and open Facebook again. If this doesn’t work, be patient, as Facebook will surely roll out the fix to you soon.
Facebook updates its mobile apps on a frequent basis and rarely provides a changelog on what exactly is new or improved. This time is no exception, as the Google Play listing simply states “Improvements for reliability and speed” under the “What’s New” section for today’s update. Not only does that not offer much of a hint as to what component has stopped working, it’s also the same five words that were in the section for the update three days ago.
We have contacted Facebook for more information about this issue and will update you if we hear back.
Update at 6:45 p.m. Pacific: Facebook says the issue should be resolved for all Android users. We have asked about the cause but aren’t expecting the company to go into detail.