Apple today extended its social media presence by creating a Twitter account for the App Store. After 10 billion purchases, I guess Apple realizes the store is pretty popular and might just become even more so through a little additional exposure.
Apple already has Twitter accounts for iTunes Music, Movies, TV, Podcasts and Trailers, and Apple Executives Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall (who has yet to tweet) both have personal accounts. The iTunes Twitter accounts are “announce only” style accounts and generally only follow each other. Apple as a company has yet to get on Twitter, nor has it created accounts related to Macs.
The new App Store account lists its description as “Follow us for official App Store tweets including our featured apps, exclusive offers, and more.” Considering the public nature of Twitter, I’m not sure how “exclusive” an offer could really be when announced via the platform. Previous exclusivity announcements on the iTunes accounts simply advertised offers available to anyone in iTunes, rather than something unique for Twitter followers.
Whether Apple likes it or not, followers are going to tweet customer service problems and concerns to @AppStore. That’s the nature of Twitter and savvy brands use it for quality customer service. By contrast, Apple’s silence is deafening when people direct tweets its way. Currently, iTunes store support is limited to email, with a 24-hour response turnaround. Even companies with unfriendly reputations like AT&T and Comcast have faster response times for customer support via Twitter.
Overall, Apple so far hasn’t done much with social media such as iTunes and Facebook. Apple’s own foray into social media, Ping, is a desert.
It’s time Apple started listening to and engaging its followers on social media rather than simply rebroadcasting what’s already out there. Let’s hope the @AppStore account is used to communicate and engage with Apple customers and fans rather than as a one-dimensional marketing tool.
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