Twitter users on iOS were hit with a strange bug today. Instead of receiving notifications that included the tweet itself, they received a string of alphanumeric characters. The issue only affected iOS users, we confirmed with the company, and has since been resolved.
Twitter was quick to address the problem, following complaints from Twitter users about the weird notifications.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey posted at 12:42 PM ET today that Twitter was aware of the issue and was working on a fix.
Minutes later, he tweeted again that the issue was resolved.
We asked Twitter for more details on what went wrong, as a lot of people were wondering why their phones’ notification screen looked like this.
Some were also concerned it was a security issue of some kind, and didn’t know if a password reset was in order.
Twitter now says the issue was only a bug – nothing to be concerned about.
The company pointed us to a tweet from its Support channel (see below), which explains the issue in layman’s terms. It says the bug was related to the code used for iOS notifications – specifically the “red bubbles” (meaning the app icon’s badges).
Normally, you would not see this in “numbers and code,” Twitter explains.
Or, as @Jack put it in more technical terms: “We send an invisible background notification to the app with badge counts (mainly unread notifications, DMs, etc.). The issue caused these notifications to become visible for a short period of time. We don’t know exactly why, but quickly reverted.”
In any event, the issue is fixed, it’s not a hack, and we can all rest easy.