Savvy observers of celebrity social media habits may have noticed a familiar backdrop for Sarah Sanders’ announcement that President Donald Trump would sign a government funding bill – an associated off-white background to the Helvetica police.
Yes, it was Apple’s Notes app.
The text app has become the go-to for public figures making announcements on Twitter, with a screenshot offering a way to bypass the number of characters on the social media platform.
“The Notes app gives important people a way to connect directly with the public and gives them more space than Twitter because they are not limited by 280 characters,” said Tony Freinberg, president of the public relations company. Edendale Strategies, at NBC News. .
The Notes-based celebrity tweet is a genre of its own.
The apology note
Celebrities use the app to deliver a variety of messages. Cardi B used the app to address his intermittent relationship with rapper Offset; Whitney Cummings used the app to raise awareness of exotic caged animals that could be endangered during the California wildfires; and Billy Eichner job five Notes screenshots to discuss who is allowed to say “f —–“.
But the celebrity Notes apology is what the app is perhaps best known for.
It started in 2015, when Ariana Grande apologized to her fans using the app after a video of her licking a donut and saying “I hate Americans. I hate America” surfaced. ” I’m EXTREMELY proud to be an American, ”the pop sensation wrote via Notes.
Since then, you’ll be hard pressed to come up with celebrity excuses on any other platform. Lady Gaga recently used Notes to apologize for collaborating with R. Kelly and Armie Hammer apologized for how he poked fun at the celebrities who mourned the passing of Stan Lee by posting via Notes.
Freinberg said celebrities are inclined to use the app because “it feels a lot more personal and a lot more intimate” than other forms of communication. “It implies that the statement is something that you yourself wrote, not something that your publicist or someone else wrote,” he said.
“Bypass the guards”
The funding announcement wasn’t the first time Sanders had used Notes. In October, she appeared to use the app in a declaration on suspicious packages that were sent to prominent Trump critics and CNN.
Jennifer Magas, associate clinical professor of public relations at Pace University and vice president of Magas Media Consultants, said the app also makes it easier to bypass media.
“The Notes app is the fastest way to bypass gatekeepers and go straight to the public,” says Magazines. “It’s the easiest way to get your point across.”
“Is this good for us as PR people? Magazine added. “Probably not.”
Freinberg said the statements were also more casual.
“When you do a formal sit-in, it feels more old-fashioned. The Notes app’s statements seem more modern and immediate, ”he said.
Hunter Harris, associate editor at Vulture, agreed, but added that because they’re supposed to convey messages quickly, they’re “not always concise.”
“They’re often disjointed or completely irrelevant or poorly written,” she told NBC News.
Harris also believes that the statements can seem performative, as the people posting them deliberately try to make their response seem like they haven’t been “engineered.”
When Taylor Swift used the app in 2016 to address her feud with Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West, she wrote in her post, “I would love to be left out of this story, a story I never asked for. to have left, since 2009. ”
But Swift took shots for her declaration after people noticed the word “Search” was in the left corner above her post. This left social media users wondering if his Notes statement was pre-written, and not spontaneous, as the app implies.
Freinberg encouraged skepticism when reading the statements, especially when it comes to apologies.
“People would like you to think it’s all about timing,” he told NBC News. “But it doesn’t take long to write a tweet anymore. You no longer need time to phone a journalist.
But scandals related to the entertainment industry are different from national security and political issues. Many on the internet were astonished that the White House press secretary announced something of such importance using Notes.
Magasin said that seeing Sanders’ statement made her wonder, “Was this the best place to do this?”
“It really looks like she wrote the message in a hurry. It certainly didn’t feel like a lot of planning, ”said Magas. “Who announces a national emergency via the Notes application? “
Freinberg echoed these sentiments.
“Is using Notes to declare a national emergency really the right severity?” ” he said.
Harris agreed and referred to a malicious black dot that appeared on Sander’s post, which could have been added accidentally during the crop if the “Markup” button had been pressed.
“It seemed to me that yesterday was the lowest point I have ever seen in a Notes application statement of any kind. The random stitch was so cheap and sticky, ”she said.
“So many pop stars can perfect the act of sharing a Notes application statement and our government can’t?” Harris said.