No, this is not an April Fools' Day post. Tim Cook, Apple CEO and legendary operations guru, has joined Twitter. His twitter handle is @Tim_Cook. [Update: the account is now verified.]
While it was initially unclear if the account was one of many parody accounts that have been set up using Cook's name, Apple executive Phil Schiller re-tweeted a post from Cook, effectively vouching for the authenticity of the account.
Cook's first (and so far, only) tweet reads:
Visited Retail Stores in Palo Alto today. Seeing so many happy customers reminds us of why we do what we do.- Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 20, 2013
Cook's Twitter description reads: "CEO Apple, Fan of Auburn football and Duke basketball. Cupertino." You can tell Cook values greatness because he's not following Auburn basketball or Duke football. He knows how to pick his spots.
When I first took a look at Cook's Twitter account, he had less than 8,000 followers. Fifteen minutes later, that number is up to 26,000. It's a good bet that he'll hit 100,000 and beyond in no time.
Cook's foray into the world of Twitter is noteworthy, if only for the fact that Apple has historically shied away from all forms of social media. Indeed, Schiller is the only big-time Apple employee with a semblance of a Twitter presence. Eddy Cue has been on Twitter since 2007 and he's put out 35 tweets altogether.
As it stands now, Cook is following only 11 folks (up from nine just a few minutes ago). He cannot be stopped! Cook is currently following Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller, Anderson Cooper, Thomas Friedman, Laurene Jobs, Kerry Kennedy, the RFK Center, Kings Of Leon, Duke Basketball and The Auburn Plainsman.
I wonder how long it'll be before Carl Icahn starts tweeting at Tim Cook about stock buybacks.
As a final point, it's nice to see Cook join the Twitter ranks. I just hope he's a bit more active than Schiller and Cue. Can you imagine the buzz if Cook joined Google+ instead? Now that would have been a decent April Fool's.