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People have used X, formerly known as Twitter, for all sorts of reasons, including as a social network, news source, and meme aggregator. Many have also used it for customer and tech support, directly messaging companies or tagging them in tweets asking for help with a product or service. Larger companies have even created specific accounts dedicated to this, and one of those companies was Apple, which has offered support since 2016. However, as of October 1, Apple has discontinued direct messaging with another human on the X platform.
MacRumors was the first to report that upon sending a direct message to @AppleSupport on X, you’ll receive an automated reply instead of a response from a human operator. The automated reply directs users to the Get Support page on Apple’s website, as well as links to the iOS and iPadOS apps for Apple Support. While the account will no longer use direct messaging as a live support chat, it’s still currently posting tips, helpful tricks, and illustrative videos for Apple users as it has been since it launched.
Apple is changing the way it provides customer support
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Since taking over the X platform (and changing its name from Twitter), owner and CTO Elon Musk has made many changes to the company. One focus was on limiting support for competitors, with policies like throttling or altogether removing links to other platforms in users’ tweets. However, Apple’s decision to eliminate direct messaging on X doesn’t seem related to Musk’s policies, and the company is still maintaining a presence on the app, as well as advertising on it. Instead, Apple appears to be shifting away from text-based support from humans altogether.
Apple has not only removed its direct messaging feature from X but also from YouTube, as well as its own Apple Support Community website. The company is also ending its practice of directly responding to comments on Apple Support videos. Customers looking to troubleshoot their Apple products will have to rely more on Apple’s official support website and apps. Human support is still available over the phone; reportedly, more than 150 employees who lost their support roles during Apple’s policy change were offered transitions to phone support positions.
Notably, these workers are not allowed to transfer to other chat-based support jobs (except for medical exemptions). If Apple is removing chat-based support across the entire company, the policy shift may have nothing to do with X and other social media companies. Instead, Apple may be planning to one day transition to generative, large language model AI for the bulk of its direct customer support.