Twitter beta for Windows Phone 8.1 being disabled on some devices, you could be next

Last week we had a nice little surprise with the Twitter beta app leaking. The app is optimized for Windows Phone 8.1 and includes the Social Extensibility framework, which I detailed recently. If you use Twitter and 8.1, the app is pretty fantastic due to the ability to use the Share picker and the deeper integration with the OS.

Unfortunately, the beta was meant to be private, meaning none of you were supposed to have access to that link. This is also why we were unsurprised when the app disappeared from the Store just a few hours after being covered by tech sites.

Now, there seems to be another step being taken: the app is being disabled for some users. We should clarify that this is not Microsoft revoking the app, which results in a pop-up message noting such an occurrence and the app literally being uninstalled from your phone. But rather, this is evidently a check to see if those of you who have it, are also on the beta list.

A few users have described the app Tile being "grayed out" and  that it no longer opens, including users in our forums and in ‘tips’ sent in. A user named ‘calebkeith’ on Reddit goes on to explain the process:

“They placed a flag on their store's servers that says if you aren't part of the beta, you can no longer open this app because it is restricted to a specific list of people. Your apps synced, and got the notification that it was flagged at the server. The OS then disabled the app.”

To be honest, we’re unsure of how that whole process works as we don’t recall a situation like this in the past. Even the WhatsApp beta didn’t do that when it was accidently leaked as well (and no, we don’t know when the update is coming, so please don’t ask).

Regardless, if you have had the Twitter beta Tile grayed out and experienced a similar issue, that’s the reason. For now, it seems like the vast majority of you still have it working, as we haven’t had a flood of complaints yet.

Let us know in comments if your Twitter beta for Windows Phone 8.1 is still working or not!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Mine has been disabled couple of days ago.
  • Daniel is ur twitter beta working ..???
  • Yes and so is Sam's.
  • So, the follow up question is are you guys on the list?? :-) 
  • That's what you get for using something you shouldn't have access to!!!
  • Lol..
  • Still working fine for me
  • Mine is still working
  • I think I understand why they're doing this but what about the more feedback, the better???
  • In reality most people won't give feedback. They just download and use the app. Yes there's 5,000 more people using the beta app now, but only 100 of those giving feedback.
  • Feedback can also be indirect with metrics, anonymous logs and crash reports. That "help us make our services better by collecting anonymous usage data" checkbox.
  • Yes, except that the more than 4K who are not in the beta list would just complain all over forums that the Twitter app in WP is full of crap compared to iOS and Android when the app crashes.
  • I really don't get the point of this.  Yes, it was supposed to be a private beta, but at this point, the cat is out of the bag.  All you're going to do here is anger users.  It's not like anyone is having any major problems with the app, it's still stable.  Keeping features secret?  It's too late for that.  It just doesn't make sense any more.  Just open it up to a public beta now.
  • I second this
  • I second this too. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Never had it :'(
  • Loved the Whatsapp part btw..LOL
  • :P
  • Daniel, there was a rumour not long ago on Twitter and WMPU that BBM on WP is being tested (assuming private beta), was that just BS? Do you know?
  • Still works for me...for now...
  • Mine stopped working as I had to do a H/W reset and it wasn't in my list of apps on reinstall :-(   I'm guessing the technology to make this app disabled is new to 8.1 and is part of the same technology that prevents apps running when they are tied to an enterprise account (as Joe Belfiore and co demoed at Build)   Hopefully they will get the updates to Twitter out in a more general form soon
  • Daniel when is the whatsapp update comi.....SLAP!!!
  • I wanted to play that card. But thought its not funny at this moment, and that ill get banned from the site, are you still a user at WPcentral? Hehe
  • If you remember, Microsoft has talked many times about the possibility for them to disable an app remotely. This is the first time this happens though, and it's not even such a big deal...interesting.
  • I think this is such a big deal as the umbrella corporation.
  • Nooooo
  • When is the public version of the new Twitter app supposed to arrive? Is it only after the official release?
  • Probably. My guess is you'll see a lot of 8.1 apps go 'live' right when Microsoft announces updates, so hopefully May 31. It may not all be in one day but in that week leading up and after that announcement.
  • What announces MS it's gonna make (May 31) ? Didn't know about that :)
  • I think this when first phone with 8.1 comes out for general public!? Or start rolling out 8.1 officially.
  • It's still working for me.
  • Auto app update maybe?
  • Could be, it was might first guess untill someone mentioned flag, surver, and remote.
  • Mine greyed out and I had to uninstall it and reinstall the official one. Now my Twitter contacts don't show up on my people hub.
  • I had the same issue....had to go to settings, swipe to applications, people, add contacts and add account.
  • I did that but my Twitter contacts still don't appear. Their tweets do appear on the "what's new" tab but my contacts aren't listed...
  • People Hub > Tap showing > Tick checkbox next to Twitter
  • I already did that, to no avail. Ever since I updated to 8.1 I've had the same problem. I got them to show up when I installed the Twitter beta, but now that I'm back to the official one they've disappeared again :(
  • Mine stills working...
  • *sigh* I just want to go back to posting to multiple networks at once again... No? Well screw you too then!
  • I think that you can enable a setting on your twitter account to push all your tweets to facebook. Not the same, but a workaround. And on your facebook page all your updates will say "via Twitter". The downside of course is that any replies you make to someone on Twitter will show up on facebook.
  • That's what I do.
  • I never understood how to use twitter but I still use it in a daily bases.
  • There is a tweet, from the official twitter account, that explains twitter. Search for it.
  • It's their right. If it was a console game that had leaked in beta, then most would see no issue in the publishers taking steps to disable it. It's no different here.
  • Still works for me and its great improvements!!!
  • Thanks for the clarification.
  • Luckily for me I'm still using the beta, I hope it isn't a wide spread blockage. It's a great improvement from the normal Twitter app.
  • Really? Apart from the integration what else does it give us? It still doesn't update the live tile correctly and that error has been with us since the beginning in an app that hasn't been updated since WP7.5 and from developers who never answer emails or reply to support questions. That said, for all its basics it is still my goto twitter app because of the centralized notifications, the API for which twitter won't release to other devs for privacy issues. And that just makes the other twitter apps a bit redundant and full of extra flim flam.
  • It still works for me :) hopefully it will continue that way :D
  • "calebkeith" is one of the developers of Readit
  • ah, gtk, thanks
  • I uninstalled mine when they pulled the app.  If the code is that early, I'm sure they're concerned about stability & server load.  Who knows, maybe the security isn't up to snuff and you're allowing their app to crawl through everything on the phone at this point.  (Official beta testers would have acknowledged that when signing up for the beta.) I can wait for the official one.
  • I hope you guys realize 'calebkeith' is the dev behind the Readit app, right? I'd hope that fact would give him some additional credibility.
  • When is the update coming? :-)
  • Still working...
  • Disabled since day 1 for me..
  • Still working :)
  • In addition when the app is uninstalled it gimps some parts of Twitter integration on the phone. For example, the People hub still shows Twitter updates, however you lose the ability to show Twitter updates on individual contact tiles. Wasn't a happy camper.
  • Microsoft, a company that makes great products but also make poor decisions, like one guy in a comment above, what's the damage of having the app? ok you don't want anymore people to access it, so instead disabling the apps for those who wasn't suppose to have the beta, why couldn't MS simple include them in the beta, this you may say, is a little thing, but that is just it, microsoft makes a lot of tiny mistakes that sums and make the overall experience bad, take for example the Xbox Music app, yes i do know is a bloody beta, but the point is, why? why replace something that works with an slow inestable malfunction app? why couldn't just detach the old music + videos hub from the os, and make it an app so they can update it frenquently, i'm not a developer, but i know someone in MS has the source code for that app so it could easy make it an standalone app. But ok, lets say you don't want to do that, why can MS let third party music player run in the background? when you're using a third party music player and tap on quick controls, it doesn't open the app you where using, it opens XB Music, why? why? why? why? why? Why are some features locked to cortana?(quiet hours, inner circle, etc) and why couldn't they include a shortcut to the bing vision app in cortana?, instead now is either disabling location services, opening the camera app then the bing vision lense, or use a third party QR reader  Why they rip away the ability to upload pictures to onedrive from the photo hub?(oh, i will tell you why on this one: to force you tu use the now shipped with every wp 8.1 ondrive app). If games are going to show up in the app list, what's the point of having the xbox game app? The notificition center: they give us quick access to a lot of useful options, except mobile data(3g, 2g) because fuck you i'll do what i want it's my OS, The settings app is a mess, it's it so hard to implement alphabetic order? That exactly the core of all Microsoft mistakes: they listen to their users when it comes to "which" features they/we want, but they force you to do it the MS way, in that aspect MS is worst than apple, i myselft bought my phone mainly as a music player, so as you may imagine i'm currently not happy.
  • This isn't an MS issue it's twitter's beta programme.
  • Go rant in the forums and stop hijacking posts that have nothing to do with your complaining.
  •, which is not Microsoft, can't do what they want with their own Beta test?  Com'on dude.
  • is 8.1 officially released?
    answer is NO
    so why are you complaining about? go back to 8.0 if you can't deal with the Preview.
    1. apps aren't finished and they can be updated anytime to make the apps good when 8.1 is officially released. why do you think they are asking for feedback?
    2. not many turn their mobile data off, again go back to 8.0 if you think it's easier to do it there.
    3. why are settings a mess? too hard to read the titles? why I want "about" at the beginning of my settings if I won't open about like never?
    4.again roll back to 8.0... and please this is about TWITTER which has NOTHING to do with MICROSOFT. go complain to your mommy how Microsoft doesn't do things you want... and how other people (like me) are happy with 8.1 and how nice it feels, and aren't complaining like you
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  • Still working but got funny error earlier. Ok since.
  • Mine's till working and I hope it continues. It's a nice update after such a long updates drought.
  • Mine is still working with no issues to date.
  • Twitter wants to control it's ip, so one can understand their actions, and that of MS... Guess patience is required! Not long now...
  • I've not had this happen... yet... but damn, this sucks. It's a fairly solid build though they should just push it and restart the beta properly.
  • Twitter proving once again they are control freaks and definitely don't want or care about feedback or testing! #failWhale
  • That's a little bush league IMO. As other folks have noted they screwed up and it leaked to the store. Might as well let the people that managed to snatch it provide feedback as well. It's been a great step up from the original Twitter client.   Fortunately mine still seems to be live.
  • Damn !
  • Still have mine (820 in UK), working fine ^_^
  • *gulp* - but I like the Twitter Beta
  • I might be able to give some explanation, or the possibility of one for those who can't wrap their heads around why they would pull this app. I used to work for MSFT as a systems engineer for some well know and highly trafficked web services. My job was to plan, design, and execute the running of web services. Most of you call these web ‘sites’ but it’s a bit more complex than that with everything interconnected these days. There’s an entire world of services that have no front end counterpart, but touch a wide range of sites. Ok, bla bla bla… anyhow this may simply be a matter of resources. It’s entirely possible that the WP beta, or all mobile betas for that matter touch or are homed to a very small and limited set of front or back end twitter servers. It’s very possible that they were only designed to handle the load or logins of a highly narrow set of users. It could be that the swell of users on these servers are not giving them the backend beta test they want. Don’t fall into the trap that this test is all about you the user, it’s possible this is also a load/stability test for their servers that are getting crushed by users.
  • Mine grayed out and wouldn't work a couple days ago. I was like, "What?" The strange thing is it was only grayed out for like a Half hour. It works for me now.
  • Same. It was grayed out, so I checked the forums for anybody experiencing the same thing, and found nothing. Went back to my start screen then it wasn't grayed out lol
  • Still working for me... Guess I shouldn't speak to soon!
  • did twitter hire all the sinofsky era engineers at MSFT? because clearly what's the worse that could happen: customer feedback? hmmm.
  • Hopefully Tweetium for WP8.1 will come out soon and we'll have a alternative to play with.
  • Happened to me this morning. Time was lighter shade of blue, wouldn't open. Checked forms here then logged into twitter mobile site then checked the and it was back to normal and has been since. Aside from the integration aspect, the twitter beta actually lets me see photos in tweets rather than me having to click on the pic.twitter link like I had to in last app.
  • so far working here
  • its working on my htc 8s but its disabled so ican't  update if they made an update 
  • Mine can't even download anymore
  • Working fine here... For now at least
  • They should just release wp8.1 to the public already... People are just making dev profiles just to get it... Stop hyping it up and just release it to the public..
  • Yesterday mine grayed out and installed the twitter app(non-beta) without installing the beta one. and I found it it worked again after installing the non-beta :)  
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