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Apple starts providing customer service on Twitter

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Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Apple has launched a Twitter account dedicated to providing customer support. The account went live 8AM ET this morning, and within about 20 minutes started responding to customers' requests for help. It's already fielding questions about Apple Music, Apple IDs, and enabling smart quotes (the “curly” quotation marks, rather than the "straight" marks). It'll also be tweeting out tips on how to use Apple products. By and large, it looks like a pretty standard customer service account.

Twitter has been building out customer service features

Though Apple has Twitter accounts for specific products — like Beats 1, Apple Music, and iTunes — it's largely avoided having any central presence on social media. There's still no core Apple account, but today's launch suggests it's growing more comfortable with putting itself out in the open, even if that means letting everyone tweet out all the problems they're having.

But that by no means puts Apple in a unique position. Many major companies use Twitter to field customer service issues, and Twitter has even been building features specifically to encourage this type of use. Just the other week, it made it easier for businesses to initiate a direct message with a customer, which also follows Twitter dropping the 140-character limit from DMs and allowing links and photos to be sent.

Apple launched a Twitter support account for Apple Music last October. It also inherited Beats' customer service account. And while Apple has yet to launch a core account for itself, there have been other signs that it's trying to work with social media more than it has in the past. It launched an account dedicated to games on the App Store in September, and Apple's executives have increasingly — though still sparingly — tweeted over the past couple years.