Apple has its own way of being part of the social media platform like any other brand whereby it is present but not active. In the past two years, dating back to 2014, the Apple account on twitter did not even have an avatar (profile picture) which twitter refers to an ‘egg’, with zero tweets till today. Apple Inc. has 10 million likes on Facebook which is rather deserted with no sign of activity or social interaction with customers since it was created in July 2011. Surprisingly, based on statistics, the massive amount of likes such as this could represent 83 million hours per month of Facebook that a user spends on and disappointingly Apple chooses not to part of this.
Furthermore, Apple is not only losing out on a huge marketing opportunity, but also turning a blind eye on a rising dynamic channel for customer feedback (comments, concerns, complaints, etc,.) and support. Other organisations that support social media platforms shows that they take their customers seriously, on an online platform and they get the chance to listen to customers voices in order to improve business decisions. Apple however, does not see any interest in this. Steve Jobs mentions that , “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” (1998, Business Week), perhaps Apple finds no need to be as active as others since it is already making billions through endorsements and smaller companies or Apple wants to be shown proof that they actually need active accounts.
Apple is not completely out of the loop in terms of social platforms, for example there is iTunes on Facebook and Twitter. There are over 31 million likes on iTunes Facebook page but it is ironic how this is successful while Ping had failed. Apple created its own social network within iTunes called Ping in September 2010.
Ping allowed users to share music, follow artists and have access to their friends’ playlists. The problem began when iTunes had a missing gap with Facebook and Twitter and for this reason Ping users were having difficulties in finding friends or confirming someone’s identity. This social network was less effective in terms of social interaction.
Running for two years, Ping was removed in September 2012 and instead was replaced with Facebook and Twitter integrations in iTunes. During this time Apple’s mobile operating system incorporated Facebook and Twitter into apps of iOS. Apple had learned something from the failures of Ping of what social media entails: play nice with others ‘you might need them’.
Apple may be anti-social because it can afford to be anti-social. Apple does not need exposure or outreach to other companies simple because these companies find Apple not vice versa. According to Interbrand, in 2013, Apple took over beating Coca-Cola as the most valuable brand in the world. Apple was said to be at the value of $98 billion citing it “legions of adoring fans.” Apple is aware of who their customers are, while they also play a loyal and passionate one on one relationship. Surely it is not necessary for Apple to create ‘community-like’ relationships when they are doing successfully well. However, Apple could be taking a high peak turnover in terms of online marketing and social interactions (Foulger, 2014).