An Instagram Bug Crashed iPhones; Here’s What Happened

An Instagram Bug Crashed iPhones; Here's What Happened

A viral Instagram prank crashed multiple users’ iPhones after opening a highlight of a user’s Instagram story named ‘pgtalal’ over the past few weeks. While the Instagram story doesn’t lock an Android phone and shows a purple screen with confetti, iPhones just crash as soon as you open it. To find out what’s really going on here, renowned tech YouTuber Arun Maini, better known as Mrwhosetheboss, decided to investigate and even managed to recreate it.

Why Instagram Crashed on iPhones

Mrwhosetheboss installed the Instagram app on a bunch of smartphones to see how each phone reacted when the story was opened. After the test session, you noticed that all iPhones, including the high-end iPhone 12 Pro Max, crashed as soon as you opened the story.

On the Android side, it’s a different story. While flagship Android phones managed to survive with ease, mid-range smartphones struggled to keep the interface responsive, and cheap Android phones suffered the same fate as iPhones.

He then reached out to developers, including Ananay Arora, an undergraduate security research assistant at Arizona State University. After this collaborative effort, they found that the The crashing story in question consists of a countdown timer and an Instagram quiz..

However, the problem occurred because Pgtalal used an HTTP proxy to manipulate the width and height of the UI elements of the story.. As a result, the purple screen seen on Android phones is actually the extended version of the countdown timer and iPhones were unable to render it and ended up crashing. Take a look at Ananay’s tweet below to see the technical data she found while researching this:

To everyone’s surprise, Pgtalal even replied to Mrwhosetheboss. In interactions, Talal said he is 14 years old and started programming at 11.. Bored with home quarantine, Talal tried to create Instagram glitches for fun. Fortunately, Instagram has now fixed the problem, but the pgtalal story may still crash your phone. The full explainer video is fascinating and you should watch it on Mrwhosetheboss YouTube channel right here:

Featured image courtesy: Mrwhosetheboss / YouTube

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