Twitter & Apple Partner for Like to Opt-In Program

I’m breaking my Blog silence to write about a super fascinating Twitter program I stumbled across this week. As many of you know, I am an Apple fan. Despite my Mac mini crashing during the Mojave update that hasn’t tainted how I look at them and I still follow Apple closely when it comes to new products and updates.

Now, if you follow Apple on Twitter you might be thinking – what’s the point? They’ve been on Twitter since 2011 and have not published a single tweet. Think I’m kidding? Here’s their profile:

You might notice a couple things missing other than just their tweets. The only stat they show is number of followers and nothing else. No Following, Like, Lists, Memories, nothing. The only thing that is displayed on their profile is a single number for followers. So yeah, if you go to their Twitter account you might be thinking, big whoop.

But last week something interesting hit my Twitter feed. Check this tweet out:

Whoa, what? All I need to do is like a tweet and I’ll get a reminder later? That was an easy click. Then, 15 minutes before the Apple Event starts, I get this:

Yep, a personalized tweet that included a link to the Live Stream event. Then, when the announcement was over, I got this cool little video highlighting the new iPad (the main feature of the event).

Now, some of you might be thinking – Josh, this isn’t a big deal… they sent you a simple reply. But no, this is super interesting to me because this is totally outside standard Twitter functionality. Let me break this down for you.

#1 – The Initial Tweet Did Not Feature the Promoted Label

Originally I thought this was a promoted tweet. It still could be but the interesting thing to me is, it’s not labeled as a Promoted tweet. Tweets that pay to be in your feed have the “Promoted” slug at the bottom. This is how users can tell if its an organic tweet vs a paid tweet. Here’s one running for me today from Google:

You can see I’ve highlighted the Promoted slug but the initial Apple tweet does not have that. The Apple one looks like an organic tweet. This leaves me to wonder, what type of tweet did Apple create?

#2 – Like=Future Notification

I admit, I’m not 100% current on the ad types or features offered by Twitter but the whole, like a tweet and it triggers an upcoming message seems new to me. Personally, I think its pretty cool and a super easy way to opt-in to messaging. Now, how this happens? No idea.

#3 – The Follow-Up Tweet Bypasses Spam Settings

Thinking about the logistics on pulling this off might be the most impressive element of this placement. As mentioned in Apple’s tweet, they will send a reminder before the event with a link. Well, look at the likes on that tweet. Yep, over 140,000 which means, minutes before they event Apple sent 140,000 tweets to users.

Now back in the olden days, Twitter had some abusive accounts that would frequently tweet at reply to followers and follow-ees (is that a word?) which is why Twitter started locking down frequent tweet behavior in the Spam section of their users agreement. Specifically, there’s this noted:

If you post duplicative or substantially similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account, or create duplicate or substantially similar accounts.

Now, I get it, these users Opt-ed in to an earlier tweet. But still, the tweet Apple sent was the same content just sent to different users. And to send 140,000+ tweets in a matter of minutes, clearly bypasses some of the Twitter Laws out there.

Overall, if this is a paid placement I think its an awesome ad unit and a great way to get users to Opt-In to additional messaging on Twitter. This is the first message I have seen like this which makes me think this is a Twitter/Apple partnership. Have you seen similar tweets from other advertisers? If so, for what brands? Or, do you think Apple and Twitter crafted this program together and it’s something exclusive to Apple?

Thoughts and comments welcomed below. Thanks for reading.

1 Comment
  • Bob Stanke
    November 1, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Very interesting indeed. Thanks for bringing this to my attention a few days ago.