Rumors of Apple’s hiring a social media manager begat theories of a sea change for Cupertino’s notoriously tight-lipped media strategy. Their execs are even tweeting–a move that the late Steve Jobs would’ve likely lambasted, as Fast Company’s John Paul Titlow points out, much as he would have mocked that stylus the company patented this week.
Instead, the industry has watched as Apple appears to tentatively veer from Jobs’s single narrative to a plurality of voices speaking at once, and perhaps even–a shock–directly interacting with consumers and fans.
It’s hard to imagine such a mixture of voices speaking for Apple after Jobs’s monolithic presence; even Apple CEO Tim Cook’s tweets cautiously traipse along corporate lines as if awaiting a central tone to augment. So the question remains: In this new era of outspoken Apple, What Would Steve Tweet?
For such a faceted monolith, Jobs’s current Twitter presence is sadly relegated to beige inspirational accounts with nary a parody account in sight. @LegendSteveJobs is just one of many accounts spouting Jobs-ey koans, channeling the Turtlenecked One’s favorite (re)quote of “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” with accurate quotes and/or things the Apple savior probably maybe would’ve said to his flock at some point.
Perhaps Jobs would go for the gusto, embracing his mantle of keynote kingpin by shifting from yearly sermons on the mount to proclaiming the glories of the Apple microcosmic.
What was his most anticipated keynote joke could have become a hashtag signature as Jobs tweets his latest #onemorething about, y’know, how Apple engineers tweaked the latest Maps build to suck ever slightly less than Google Maps. Might he, in a pang of nostalgia, succumb to RTing grainy fan-boi compilation videos?
Of course, the iconoclasts in the audience, the #ThinkDifferenters so to speak, would surely like to see the raw Jobs, the vicious taskmaster who pushed his team to glory with caustic critique. Would the petty, tantrum-prone boss have lobbed personal thunderbolts from on high to humiliate employees?
If they can hologram, they can holotweet, but we’ll never truly know what Jobs would have tweeted. We can only take pleasure that Jobs’s ghost still haunts Twitter as strangers use him to soapbox pithy inspirational quotes, and the media continues to report on his evidential testimony on everything from compensation to antitrust issues from beyond the grave. Whatever Steve Jobs might have thought about social media, and whatever identity-tweaking Apple does next, Steve will still be there.