Apple have been a longstanding anomaly in the world of social media.
Despite offering comprehensive support for Twitter and Facebook in their iOS operating system, the tech giant never has never made an official, active account for its main brand.
@applesupport appeared when it became obvious to everybody (especially cutting edge tech firms) that customer service without social media is bad customer service…
But in terms of a brand account, there’s nothing. There’s an empty, verified Facebook page (a lonely profile image, bereft of even a bio for company). And now, a few days ahead of their iPhone 7 launch on 7th September, an Apple Twitter account has been verified, having stood unused and silent since 2011.
The new account is tweetless so far, but tweets have been seen in user feeds. Apple sent out a series of sponsored tweets, targeted at relevant parties rather than sent out to the world. It’s not the most common strategy, but not unheard of either.
Without this crucial detail, it might be easy to dismiss the sudden appearance of the verified tick as belated housekeeping. But Apple is promoting its event on social media, a big shift from its usual detached approach.
Well, this is the big question. And the fact that the move has come to Twitter is significant in itself.
There’s some speculation that Apple is getting active on the platform as part of some upcoming deal with Twitter. Of particular significance is the fact that Twitter’s COO @adambain tweeted to welcome the account, and has since deleted the tweet.
Twitter has recently bet in a big way on live streaming – as part of official deals with broadcasters during the US election cycle, and most recently a deal to exclusively live-stream the new NFL season online. All are big wins for Twitter, and a big part of its live-streaming experiment.
Apple’s deal with Twitter has been rumoured to include a Twitter app on Apple TV, which may include a little helping hand for Twitter by getting one of the most famously radio-silent brands onto social media. Officially.
It’s also possible (and more immediately relevant) that Apple will live-tweet their launch event for the first time. Literally everybody else in the industry will be, after all.