Apple has expanded its presence on Twitter, adding an English-language general support channel — called simply @AppleSupport — which it says will be tweeting out tips and tricks, as well as offering to help users with any Apple-related questions they may have.
“We’re here to provide tips, tricks and helpful information when you need it most, and if you have a question, well — we’re here to help with that too,” the @AppleSupport Twitter blog reads.
Although a mere three hours old at this point the account has already amassed more than 35,000 followers, and fielded a swathe of questions from Twitter users — from queries about why calendar entries are disappearing to frayed MacBook cables to iCloud backup woes and plenty more besides (including a few folks trying their luck to ask about future product news, and getting a polite ‘we don’t comment on future products’ response from the support staff).
The first tip the account tweeted was a ‘how to’ photo guide for the Notes app, showing how to turn bog standard lists into active check lists…
— Apple Support (@AppleSupport) March 3, 2016
It’s not the first official Twitter support channel that Apple has created, by any means. There was already an Apple Music Help Twitter account, for example, and the official App Store twitter account has been around since fall 2009. While the Beats by Dr Dre brand has also had a Twitter support account since 2012 — long before Apple acquired the company.
But Apple creating an overarching Twitter Support account aimed at fielding any/all Apple-related queries feels a bit more significant than siloed support accounts for particular services. Could it be that Apple is expanding its public-facing presence as it steps up its legal fight with the FBI over encryption and iOS security?
Or perhaps it’s just trying to cover more customer support bases, given that Twitter is a common outlet for people to tweet complaints when their gadgets and gizmos go wrong.
Apple puts a lot of emphasis on customer support as part of its premium brand positioning. So providing another public support channel should further bolster the perception of strong after-sales services — even if there’s an element of it somehow seeming slightly out of character for Cupertino to so publicly engage with discussions of product problems in public. But then we are now well into the Tim Cook Apple era which has been characterized as having a more open attitude to publicity and business information than the Apple of old.
Safe to say, Apple Support putting both feet on Twitter is probably not a sign that Cupertino might be interested in buying Twitter — but, hey, we can dream…
We’ve reached out to Apple to see if it has anything to say about its decision to embrace Twitter as a general support channel and will update this story with any response.