The official Apple account on Twitter has broken its self-imposed social media silence by publishing a rare promotional tweet advertising a new special edition of iPhone 8: (PRODUCT)RED™.
The tweet began showing on users’ timelines on 10th April and to date has received 20 retweets, 105 likes and 10 replies. While it’s a sign of life, Apple’s timeline on Twitter continues to read: “@Apple hasn’t Tweeted. When they do, their Tweets will show up here”.
Relying on trademark Apple simplicity, the advertisement reads: “Buy iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED™ Special Edition”. It also features a 15 second promotional video for the new product.
Apple joined Twitter in 2011, however it’s yet to post its first tweet. It’s also one of only two top 100 brands — as per Intebrand’s Best Global Brands report – to maintain an inactive Facebook page.
The other brand is Tesla which, strictly speaking, is without a Facebook page after its CEO, in response to a tweet by WhatsApp founder Brian Acton, announced his intention to delete Tesla’s Facebook presence late last month.
Despite refusing to tweet or post, Apple continues to rack up fans on both social networks. It has 1.77 million followers on Twitter and 11.2 million page likes on Facebook.
While Apple doesn’t maintain an active social presence for its main brand, it does maintain active social accounts for subsidiary brands like Apple Music, as well as support accounts.
Apple is renowned for its secrecy, particularly around new product launches, which perhaps goes to explain its silence on social media.
In an interview with CNBC in 2014, Brian Sozzi, an analyst for Belus Capital, said “Tim Cook is on Twitter, and that is good enough for now…Twitter is an ecosystem that Apple can’t control, and Apple likes to control everything”.
Despite attempting to impose secrecy, it has struggled in recent years to stop internal communications surfacing on social media and in news reports.
In an ironic twist, a memo it circulated about the consequences employees could face if they leaked secret internal information was leaked to the press on Friday.
The memo stated that employees who leak are “get[ting] caught faster than ever” and “Leakers do not simply lose their jobs at Apple. In some cases, they face jail time and massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets both classified as federal crimes”.
The leaked memo also states “In 2017, Apple caught 29 leakers [and] 12 of those were arrested”.