Apple made its Community+ Program common knowledge this week. Similar to other tech companies like Dell, HP, and Microsoft, Apple has been rewarding the knowledgeable volunteers who frequently contribute to its online support community.
As spotted via iClarified on Wednesday, Apple launched the Apple Community+ Program webpage, which details a program that annually invites a small number of forum members to enjoy special rewards. An Apple rep told Ars Technica that while the webpage is new, the program “has been around for a few years.” It’s likely that since only a small number of people get to participate in the program, there hasn’t been much chatter about it before the page’s launch.
The Community+ members receive “special perks, white-glove experiences, and more,” according to the program’s page, but Apple didn’t specify what that means, and the company declined to provide Ars Technica with more details about the rewards.
Apple also didn’t specify the boxes you have to check to get an invite. The Community+ page does say, however, that invitees are “high-level community members” who are “engaged and active in the community,” “share quality content and helpful answers to build their reputation,” and are role models for the forum.
Regular Apple support community members already receive points for participating in activities like asking or answering a question or having one of their answers marked as “helpful” by other community members. Gathering virtual points can lead to virtual rewards, like the ability to have a custom avatar image or access to The Lounge, where you and other high-ranking members can have discussions.
The Community+ Program promises better perks than that. Again, we don’t have specifics, but we can look at similar tech perks programs for ideas.
As noted by The Verge, Microsoft support forum members have been receiving MVP awards for more than 20 years, with more than 4,000 people reportedly earning the title so far. Perks include early access to Microsoft products and an invite to the annual Global MVP Summit at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, headquarters.
For a couple of years, Dell has been rewarding its most elite community members with invites to online and in-person events and providing new product testings and internal resources. Meanwhile, HP’s Expert program rewards include invites to virtual and live events and the opportunity to speak with HP employees.
It’s good to hear that Apple has also been rewarding its most helpful forum members, who can save hours of time for Apple customers and employees, free of charge. Without a detailed look at those perks, though, it’s unclear just how appreciative Apple is.