Airbnb appears to have suffered some sort of glitch that sent a mass test notification to every one of the app’s users this morning, which was presumably accidental. That’s based on recent reports, showcasing the issue.
The apparent glitch itself wasn’t necessarily anything to worry about. Summarily, it simply sent a notification to users’ devices from the widely-lauded travel app. The app gave the notification the title “Test” in the pop-out. But its contents didn’t reveal too many additional details either.
Selecting the notification didn’t do much either. Instead, it sent users to the Airbnb app’s home page. Just as would happen if they’d opened the app directly.
What caused Airbnb to send out the accidental mass notification?
As hinted already, and via the contents of the accidental Airbnb notification, the mistake appears to have been the result of some kind of internal test.
Airbnb has not provided any details as to what, exactly, it was testing. Or, for that matter, how such a mistake could be made. But there are some clues in the contents of the notification itself. The notification was referred to as a test. The contents read “Test dev.”
The implication of that seems to be that a developer working on the Airbnb app was testing something in the notification system. Conversely, it may have been a test of something else but that may have needed to access the system.
Typically, those kinds of tests are conducted on a version of the app that hasn’t been released publicly. What happened with the app appears to be that a developer accidentally pushed a server-side change to the stable release version of the app. And that occurred, it appears, during testing.
As of this writing, there doesn’t appear to be any adverse impact from the test. That is, other than the potential annoyance of some of Airbnb’s userbase.