Ex-Facebook Employee Tells All, iPad App Has Been Ready Since May

Last week, Facebook held its annual F8 conference. Much like Apple’s WWDC, F8 is an event where Facebook shows off new innovations to the media and its developers.

While there were a number of announcements made on Thursday, there was something noticeably missing from Mark Zuckerburg’s keynote: the iPad app. We know it exists, so why hasn’t Facebook released it yet?

The Next Web helps shine some light on the topic by pointing to a blog post written today by Jeff Verkoeyen, an ex-Facebook employee. Verkoeyen was actually the lead engineer on the iPad app project, but has since left the company.

Jeff’s post has been deleted, but luckily The Next Web was able to snag the message:

“On Quitting Facebook

I’ve had many people question why I would quit working for Facebook. It’s a complicated answer, but it’s related to the fact that since January of this year I was the lead engineer on Facebook’s iPad app.

The app still hasn’t been released, though it was infamously leaked via TechCrunch. It was feature-complete in May and for reasons I won’t go into details on the app was repeatedly delayed throughout the summer. Over the past 8 months I dedicated a significant amount of time toward building this app, sometimes putting in over 80 hours of work in a given week in the hopes of meeting the “perpetually moving tow-weeks-away launch date” every software developer fears.

After the app reached feature completion in May and I was told that it was going to be delayed yet again, I stopped working on the project entirely. A few weeks later I decided to focus my energy on the Nimbus project.

It is now nearly 5 months since the app was feature complete and I haven’t seen it released except for when the project was leaked on TechCrunch. Needless to say this was a frustrating experience for me. The experience of working on this app was a large contribution to the reasons why I left Facebook, though that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a difficult decision.

I learned a lot during my time at Facebook. Facebook is truly an exciting place to work at and I am sad that my experience there was less than ideal. I had the great privilege of working closely with some of the best designers in the industry and shadowing David Recordon as we looked into the possibility of me working on their open source team. I spent a significant amount of time thinking about what I wanted to do and decided in the end that I needed to switch things up and step away from Facebook.

I wish them the best of luck going forward. Timeline was an incredible launch and I look forward to following the company’s progress going forward.”

If you were one of the lucky folks that unlocked the iPad app before Facebook blocked the option, you know it’s pretty solid. So, why the ongoing delay? There has been speculation that Facebook’s growing competition with Apple has contributed to the holdback.

On the other hand, as TNW points out, there have also been rumors of a special presentation of the app at Apple’s October 4th event. We’re not sure how iPad software would fit in with an iPhone/iPod touch unveiling, but we’re not ruling out the possibility.

Why do you think Facebook’s iPad app hasn’t been released yet?