Has Facebook developed the glitchiest software on the web? Yes, according to Evan Priestley, a former Facebook engineer.
"Facebook is the buggiest software I use regularly, by a wide margin," Priestley recently wrote on question-and-answer site Quora. TechCrunch reports the Priestly has also documented more than 30 Facebook bugs he's found since September, collecting and publishing the glitches on a Pinterest blog.
Though Priestley has made it his hobby to reveal the social network's flaws, he actually defends the snafus on Quora, writing that there's no need for the company to make higher quality software. Priestley writes that the company has paid less attention to developing software and, thus, has been able to put more energy into making the company a fun place to work and attracting new employees.
If this is Facebook's plan, it seems to be working. According to Glassdoor's Employees' Choice Awards, Facebook was rated the best tech company to work for in 2011. (Check out our slideshow featuring the highest-rated tech companies of the year.)
Another reason Priestley says it's okay for Facebook to have a few shells in the omelette has to do with the type of company it is. Because Facebook is a social network and not "banking or space shuttles or nuclear reactors," users will put up with the occasional problem. If you can't update your status for a day, or even a week, it isn't the end of the world.
Facebook may take the bugs more seriously than Priestley realizes, however. In July 2011, CNET reported that Facebook had launched a bug bounty program, promising to reward $500 to third-party "whitehat" hackers for each bug they found. In August, Facebook paid out $40,000 in bug-finding fees, reported CBS San Francisco.
A few of the issues that Priestley documents on Pinterest are duplicate notifications, broken links, rogue smart lists, grammar mixups, phantom "Like" symbol on posts that no one has liked, and more. Check out our slideshow (below) to see what these and other Facebook bugs look like. Have you noticed these or other glitches? Let us know in the comments.
Here the exact same notification is repeated four times in the drop-down list. Image via Pinterest
Facebook displays a nonsensical option after a notification. Image via Pinterest
Facebook created a Smart List for a place that the user had never heard of, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Image via Pinterest
Facebook alerts the user that there are either zero or more than zero highlights in the newsfeed. Not very helpful. Image via Pinterest
The icon indicates someone has liked this post, but when you hover over the thumbs up, it says no one has liked it. Image via Pinterest