Starting yesterday afternoon, around the time that the stock market was in the midst of crashing, Facebook’s new search API stopped returning updated status updates. The result was that all dependent applications stopped functioning. While the search API only launched a couple weeks ago at f8, many large search providers have already integrated robust indexing of Facebook’s search results.
Erik Ober of Booshaka tipped us off yesterday evening about the issue and by this morning, he told us that he had seen 18 hours of delayed results. It wasn’t that the search results weren’t responding, instead it was that there were no new results being returned. While it wasn’t a complete “fail whale”, a saying to reflect Twitter’s historical null responses to developer API requests, search results which aren’t being updated can essentially break an application.
Facebook has been facing a number of platform reliability issues in the past couple weeks, not surprisingly timed with the launch of their robust new Open Graph API, which is much cleaner than the previous iteration of the Facebook API. While search didn’t “go down” per say, the indexing was completely delayed, which means millions of potential search results are not indexed by third-party social search providers.